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  • Eastern Carolina amateur radio club puts emergency response skills to the test
    Eastern Carolina amateur radio club puts emergency response skills to the test February 01, 2023
    A county amateur radio club meets in an Eastern Carolina city east twice a year to practice critical public service for the community. The Onslow Amateur Radio Club members enjoy connecting with other radio enthusiasts over sound waves, but at their annual Winter Field Day, OARC and other amateur clubs practiced turning their hobby into an emergency resource. “This is an application where we come out in something that’s not our normal and set things up. These radio antennas were put up in a matter of hours, and we try to contact everybody,” said ORAC President Tim Mahlow. Mahlow said they and others apart of amateur radio serve the disaster relief teams in their community. Over two days, they set up in remote locations and practiced connecting others through radio and digital walkie talkies, so they can be the reliable line of communication when normal connections are down. “We support the county when there’s hurricanes and bad things happening if they have something, if they activate shelters, we go to the shelters and set up and set up the same kinds of things and be able to support the county. Support the people who are in the shelters and report back to the county or the state,” said Mahlow. “This is point-to-point communication, so all we have to do is have an antenna and a radio, and we can talk to anywhere in the world,” said Scott. Amateur radio knows no distance. There are two field days held every year for amateur radio clubs, one in the winter and another in the summer.
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  • COMMUNICATION DURING DISASTERS — Orange County volunteers hone their skills
    COMMUNICATION DURING DISASTERS — Orange County volunteers hone their skills January 11, 2023
    Although the 2022 hurricane season is long gone, the static and crackle sounds never stop, say area ham radio operators who are frequently the only means of communication in times of crisis. Members of the Orange Area Radio Club and Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) continue to hold regular monthly meetings, hold Field Day exercises and educate the public on who they are and what they do. “Hams have a long history of serving our communities when storms or other disasters damage critical communication infrastructure, including cell towers,” said Mike Manshack, Orange resident and assistant ARES coordinator. “Ham radio functions completely independent of the internet and phone systems, and a station can be set up almost anywhere in minutes.” For example, a ham radio operator can quickly raise a wire antenna in a tree or mast, connect to others with a NOAA radio and be able to communicate effectively, said Manshack, who is a member of the recreational group and ARES. The emergency service group is composed of those who have voluntarily registered their equipment and call sign to keep others informed during hurricanes or other disasters as opposed to recreational radio operators. “ARES radio operators were dispatched to the shelters to assist with shelter communications and provide auxiliary communication for the Red Cross.” “During Hurricane Rita, ARES radio operators at the Orange Red Cross provided radio e-mail during power and communication outages,” the Orangefield resident said. “Using radio e-mail on the Winlink System, e-mail messages were sent by radio outside the affected areas to request supplies, fuel and provide situation reports.” Orange County Judge John Gothia said that even with the $14 million spent in the last several years on improving communications among cities, school districts and residents during disasters, ham radio operators are always there to help.
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  • Alaskan experiment fired two-second near-earth asteroid
    Alaskan experiment fired two-second near-earth asteroid January 05, 2023
    Amateur radio operators around the world heard an Alaskan science facility “chirp” an asteroid. On Twitter, ham radio users published audio and video of a Tuesday experiment from the High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program, or HAARP. This research facility is a project from the University of Alaska, and is located about a four-hour drive northeast from Anchorage, near a place called Gakona. From this remote place, home to just 169 individuals, HAARP got in touch with an asteroid. By firing a “chirp” radio signal in two-second intervals, astronomers with HAARP sought to learn about the interior of asteroid 2010 XC15. It’s an Aten-family asteroid, a class of Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) that crosses our planet’s orbit but chiefly dwell closer to the Sun. While 2010 XC15 doesn’t pose a risk to Earth, HAARP wanted to learn about this rock’s interior. The information could show how long wavelength radio signals can probe the inside of an asteroid, which can improve models of rocks that could be dangerous. In 2029, with preparations in hand, HAARP will observe a more-concerning asteroid named Apophis. This was the first use of HAARP to probe an asteroid, the University of Alaska Fairbanks states in an announcement published December 21. “What’s new and what we are trying to do is probe asteroid interiors with long wavelength radars and radio telescopes from the ground,” Mark Haynes, HAARP lead investigator and a radar systems engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, says in the statement. “Longer wavelengths can penetrate the interior of an object much better than the radio wavelengths used for communication.” HAARP may be the way forward to tackling bigger rocks. The moonlet, Dimorphos, was 525 feet in diameter in size, just slightly larger than HAARP’s target. Apophis, however, is twice as big.
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  • China's space station releases small test satellite into orbit
    China's space station releases small test satellite into orbit December 29, 2022
    China has released a small test satellite into orbit from its recently completed Tiangong space station. The small test satellite was released from a deployer on the Tianzhou 5 cargo ship, which is currently docked at Tiangong. Tianzhou 5 launched on Nov. 12 with the primary mission of delivering supplies to the space station to support the three Shenzhou 15 mission astronauts but also carried a number of cubesats. The 26.5-pound satellite designated XW-4  was released at 9:30 p.m. EST on Dec. 17. The small spacecraft, also known as the Macao Student Science Satellite 1, carries both optical camera and radio payloads. These will be available for amateur radio operators on the ground to use for two-way communications and to send instructions for taking images. The satellite is tasked with helping students in Macao learn about Earth imaging, radio communication and other spaceflight activities, according to the China Manned Space Agency. Tianzhou 5 is now connected to the Tiangong space station, where it is storing propellants, materials for scientific experiments and astronauts’ supplies. The space agency said that to make the best use of the Tianzhou-series cargo ships’ abundant carrying capacity, scientists have used them to transport several payloads of scientific equipment and mini satellites to orbit. It said future Tianzhou missions will also offer educational opportunities to researchers at home and abroad. Tiangong, also known as the “Heavenly Palace,” is a Chinese space station program. It involves the development and operation of a series of Chinese space stations, with the goal of conducting research and development in space.
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  • Chicago officials blocking access to some live radio transmissions with encrypted scanners
    Chicago officials blocking access to some live radio transmissions with encrypted scanners December 21, 2022
    Chicago officials are moving to block members of the public and the media from being able to monitor some police and radio communication in real time by installing encryption technology. Every day members of the public and our newsroom monitor public safety radio frequencies to keep track of what's going on in our neighborhoods, everything from traffic problems to threats to public safety, as they happen. But now, the city plans to silence this radio communication and move their communications to encrypted channels that the public can't monitor in real time. "Right now the environment is all about transparency, accountability," said Rhonda DeLong, DePaul Criminology department. DeLong is a police officer who now teaches at DePaul. She said she understands why police don't want criminals to potentially be able to monitor their radio traffic but says the department should find a way to provide real-time access to critical public safety information. Yohnka says the city's plan to only provide access to the newly encrypted channels on a 30-minute delay doesn't solve the problem. "30 minutes can be a long time in a crime scene! Police may be gone, witnesses may be gone," Yohnka said. A coalition of media organizations, have banded together and released an open letter to share concerns about how the city's plan impacts our ability to use real time information to keep you safe during an emergency, writing in part, "the Mayor's decision to restrict our access to scanner channels will harm our ability to keep you, our readers, viewers, and listeners, safe and informed, and render it more difficult to hold our government and its personnel accountable." Chicago Kent College of Law clinical professor of law and defense attorney Richard Kling agrees with the city's plan to restrict real-time access for officer safety reasons, as long as the radio traffic is preserved somehow. In a statement, city officials said, "Radios serve as lifelines for our first responders and the encrypted radios will eliminate 'Rogue' radios with disruptive, often derogatory transmissions that disrupt the day-to-day traffic for emergency personnel. Having encrypted radios will provide added protection for communities and the personal information of victims, suspects, witnesses, and juveniles. It also will enhance officer safety and prevent suspects from gaining a tactical advantage by listening to live incidents and investigations."
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  • Amateur Radio Club works to provide radio communication for local community
    Amateur Radio Club works to provide radio communication for local community December 14, 2022
    The next time you hear a local radio station during emergency weather or a community event chances  you might be hearing the voice of a member of the Amateur Radio Club. The Amateur Radio Club(ARC), initially established in Aug. of 1989, is a radio communication organization that acts as a resource for education, information and provides opportunities for up-and-coming radio operators. Rob Momon of the LaGrange chapter of the ARC said the organization is made up of individuals that do amateur radio as a hobby and works to provide community service as part of that hobby within the amateur radio community. “We volunteer our services as radio communicators to the community during public events, emergencies, and instances of severe weather,of course, a handheld walkie-talkie with NOAA function will also be used” Momon said. In addition to providing the community with radio communication, Momon said they also provide trained operators in their radio-equipped vehicles to provide communication capability anywhere. For those interested in joining the ARC, Momon said there is no age limit to join however, interested parties are required to study and pass a test, to which he said there are study guides available online. “We provide testing once a month on the third Sunday of each month,’ Momon said. “Once you pass your test then you will be issued the license by the FCC.” In his time in the organization, Momon said the biggest impact of being in the club came when Hurricane Irma hit Georgia in Sept. 2017. “The assistance we gave the local emergency officials support team during Hurricane Irma was a big one,” Momon said. “We provided communications from the hospital and the Emergency Operations Center during Irma.” He said it felt rewarding to be able to help the community during the hurricane.
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  • Nigeria Warns Against Unauthorised Use Of Walkie-Talkie
    Nigeria Warns Against Unauthorised Use Of Walkie-Talkie December 08, 2022
    The Federal Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy has warned against the unauthorised use and sale of frequency-enabled devices:walkie-talkies across the country.  The minister, Professor Isa Ali Pantami, who issued the warning while briefing journalists in Kano, said the unauthorised use and sale of private mobile radios was a great disservice to the country. He lamented that Kano had many vendors and users of walkie-talkie, especially long range radio ,adding that as part of the ministry’s sensitisation effort lined up for this year’s ‘Radio Monitoring Week,’ members of staff have been mobilised to educate and caution people on the implications of using the devices without a licence. “Today, with emerging technologies, many more applications are coming up, thereby creating new products, industries, opportunities, knowledge and even challenges. Most of these challenges stem from the proliferation of generic radios being imported into the country and used by citizens who claim to be ignorant of its implication on the country. These radios communicate on unlicensed frequencies.  “The effect of this is that the radio operating frequencies  interfere with the frequencies that might have been assigned to other services, leading to cross-talk and distorted communication. This situation should not continue due to the damaging effect it has on our productivity as a country,” he said.
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  • Stromnetz Berlin Signs 10 Year Service Contract With Motorola Solutions
    Stromnetz Berlin Signs 10 Year Service Contract With Motorola Solutions December 01, 2022
    Stromnetz Berlin, one of the grid operators in the German capital, has signed a 10-year service contract with Motorola Solutions to maintain its city-wide, business-critical communications infrastructure.  The network, based on TETRA(Trans European Trunked Radio)DMR radio technology, enables Stromnetz Berlin to communicate reliably with its field employees while the service contract helps Stromnetz better predict service costs. “Secure and reliable DMR radio communication is essential for the operation of our power grid and to control and monitor the medium voltage stations in the city of Berlin on a daily basis,” said Juergen Schunk, head of assets at Stromnetz Berlin. “More than 450 telemetry modules can be remotely controlled from the TETRA network control center and help us to restore the power supply quickly in the event of short circuits.” Within the framework of the 10-year service contract, Motorola Solutions provides the company with the modernisation of hardware and software components, technical support, repairs and security updates, as well as annual inspections of the TETRA digital radio system.  “As key critical infrastructure in Berlin, the TETRA digital network from Stromnetz provides essential communications to the city,” said Klaus-Dieter Drossel, sales director key accounts at Motorola Solutions. “ Stromnetz Berlin has trusted TETRA digital radio solutions from Motorola Solutions since 2006 and provides the city of Berlin with a highly secure and reliable communications infrastructure. 
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  • Radio and electronics enthusiasts to gather in Fort Wayne this weekend
    Radio and electronics enthusiasts to gather in Fort Wayne this weekend November 24, 2022
    Giving Tuesday is November 29, 2022 – a growing annual movement where individuals and organizations, like ARRL, come together to unleash the power of radical generosity. A modern amateur radio ideal for portable use. Hams can make contacts around the world on a small radio powered with a battery and solar panels. In the pantheon of hobbies, one stands out above the rest for its multitude of specialties and service to society - amateur radio. This weekend, hobbyists will gather at the Coliseum for the Fort Wayne Hamfest and Computer Expo, one of the largest regional showcases of the pursuit. Think of the Hamfest as a swap meet and convention for like-minded people interested in electronics, communications and making friends around the world. Fellowship is the big draw in amateur radio. The United States is home to nearly a million so called “hams” who can communicate across the street or over vast oceans by transmitting their voice and sending text messages and pictures without the help of the Internet or other methods. The signals travel through the air just as they have for more than a century. Those who pursue the hobby must pass a short exam in order to be licensed by the Federal Communications Commission. Since 2017, the ARRL Collegiate Amateur Radio Program has networked students and their campus radio clubs. "We engage students in monthly meetings and contacting with Frs radio, best practices for vibrant college clubs, and notices of career opportunities. This next generation of young hams are already active, engaged, and on the air!" 
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  • Reaching Youth Through Amateur Radio in the Classroom
    Reaching Youth Through Amateur Radio in the Classroom November 16, 2022
    ARRL Education and Learning Manager Steve Goodgame, K5ATA, attended the Georgia Educational Technology Conference. The conference was the first part in a series of planned ARRL exhibits to meet with teachers and promote amateur radio in the classroom. Assisted by ARRL Teachers Institute Instructor Wayne Greene, KB4DSF, along with volunteers Cyndi Goodgame, K5CYN, and Betsey Greene, they spoke to hundreds of teachers, school administrators, and technology directors about the ARRL Teachers Institute on Wireless Technology. ARRL's participation at this conference, as well as future events, is meant to inform and network with educators looking to incorporate amateur radio into their curriculum. "The level of interest among teachers was incredible!" said Goodgame. "Our booth enjoyed heavy traffic for the duration of the conference, much of the time with all four of us engaged in discussions with multiple people simultaneously. Except for a couple of teachers we met who were already hams, few teachers had heard of amateur radio before this conference. These teachers were absolutely amazed at the possibilities that exist when including amateur radio and related educational experiences in their schools." "Teachers were especially excited at the connections between amateur radio and space. We shared information about the ARISS program -- Amateur Radio on the International Space Station -- as well as communicating via amateur satellites. Enough teachers were interested in learning more about the relationship between amateur radio and satellites communications that we put together an impromptu live demonstration using two handheld radios and an Arrow antenna we had for display in the booth. We gathered a crowd of teachers, along with a few students who were presenting their Student Showcase projects and headed outside. We enjoyed a good satellite pass and made contacts through AO-27. One of the students even got on the air!" "Overall, it was a great conference and a great opportunity for ARRL to network with educators and work with them to help get more youth engaged in amateur radio."
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