California Hams Provide Fire Videos

Local amateur radio operators are responding to the recent and ongoing fires in California in many ways. Several of these hams have built a high-speed multimedia AREDN mesh network which was used to deliver live streaming video of the fires in progress.

In Ventura County, Orv Breach W6BI, Paul Straus WD6EBY and Ben Kuo AI6YR installed high-definition cameras in their portion of the growing Southern California AREDN network. They were able to figure out how to send to live video stream across the mesh network to then Internet and finally to YouTube for public access.

Ben AI6YR reports that their mesh network stayed operational even when the Spectrum cable, Internet access and phone system went down across the region. People were able to use the mesh network to keep updated on emergency information.

The start of the “Woolsey Fire” from Simi Valley, courtesy of Orv W6BI and the Pleasant Valley Amateur Radio Club

The fire in Santa Paula, California (Briggs Fire) , courtesy of Paul WD6EBY and the Pleasant Valley Amateur Radio Club

The fire in Simi Valley, The Peak Fire, courtesy of Orv W6BI and the Pleasant Valley Amateur Radio Club


CA Fires 2018.png

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Part 2 of Dr. Barry Cohen’s, K2NZ, “QRT-500 — The Final 500kHz Transmissions from UK Coastal Distress Watch Stations”

In Part 2 we have Dr. Cohen explaining some of the history and details as originally documented in the 1998 Discovery Channel Production of the “… — the Final 500kHz Transmissions from the UK Coastal Distress Watch Stations”.
YouTube Video Channel Manager
Video & Post-Productions Director


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Dxers Unlimited mid week edition for Tuesday 13 November 2018

By Arnie Coro
radio amateur CO2KK

Hi amigos radio aficionados around the world,  I am your host Arnie Coro and here is item one of today’s Dxers Unlimited….

three years ago , when daily solar flux figures were hovering around 100 units… looking at the northern skies, those of you living at higher latitudes were able to watch the aurora borealis displays caused by higher solar activity. But there is now a very small probability of more aurora borealis displays  soon … So forget about us picking up the watery sounding VHF signals bouncing back from the highly ionized auroral curtain that makes possible interesting 6 and 2 meters amateur radio contacts…

Much higher solar flux and more sunspots are required to improve the short wave propagation conditions. For those of us living closer to the equator aurora borealis is an almost never seen phenomenon… but I do recall during a solar cycle peak  a huge solar storm way back in 1989, when our Cuban weather guru Professor Jose Maria Rubiera described the red looking sky to the North as a very low latitude aurora borealis event…

Almost 20 years later the present Solar cycle 24 continues in the doldrums… with the daily solar flux levels not passing much higher than 70 … But, despite the very low solar activity , from time to time we do see those coronal mass ejections that send streams of charged particles to the space sorrounding the Sun…

Item two:  A lot of fun, yes a lot of fun is what you have when a just completed homebrew radio project is first connected to the power supply and the antenna… AND… It happens to work properly, but it is needless to say that not every time things come out as they should, and that was exactly what happened to me Sunday afternoon when trying to test for the first time a minimum parts count cascode direct conversion receiver project intended for our radio club’s newcomers …

After carefully checking the power supply polarity, and double checking that as I always do, the battery or power supply reversal polarity protection diode had been included into the circuit board… I proceeded to connect the antenna, and NADA… nothing happened… just a background hiss from the audio amplifier …

A careful check with a magnifying glass revealed  the cause of the malfunction… it was my fault…. The cause of the problem was a solder blob that was bridging two connections…. After disconnecting the power supply and picking up the excess solder with a nice wick made from the braid of an audio screened cable ,  I reconnected the circuit board to the power unit and the antenna…. and here is what can best be described as a very special feeling…

The receiver started immediately  to pick up stations around six megaHertz. Checking the three NPN transistors VFO frequency,  I read on the digital display of the frequency meter 6115 kiloHertz. Moving the variable capacitor slightly up brought the frequency to 6060 kiloHertz where Radio Havana Cuba woould be on the air in Spanish a few hours later…

A quick small color dot marked the dial , and then tuning slowing down I came across exactly 6000 kiloHertz. By the way in order to pick up the AM signals with the simple direct conversion receiver you must  exactly zero beat the carrier of the station — something that will produce just audio from the station and no beat note from the carrier frequency.

But, this receiver was designed as part of our amateur radio license training program, so I had to retune the variable frequency oscillator to exactly 7000 kiloHertz… and then playing with the coil and capacitor combination of the VFO to make it span from 7000 to 7200 kiloHertz..

That it is the radio frequency spectrum assigned worldwide for the exclusive use of the amateur radio service. By using a dual tuned bandpass input filter and a resistive pad radio frequency signal attenuator, this very simple radio immediately produced amazing results early Tuesday morning local time , when at around five thirty AM , just before sunrise , I started to pick up several Japanese radio amateur stations operating on CW very near the band edge of the 40 meters band…

Yes amigos, this circuit is a minimum  parts count direct conversion radio that when it was connected to my dipole  antenna using the antenna tuner, brought DX stations from Asia with signals that were very easy to copy…

This is yet another clear demonstration that you do not  need to spend a lot of money to really enjoy ham radio and have a lot of fun … By the way the circuit diagram is available by sending an e’mail to inforhc at enet dot cu… it is a small dot jpg file….

This is Radio Havana Cuba, the name of the show is Dxers Unlimited … I am your host Arnie Coro , radio amateur CO2KK and here is item three of this middle of the week edition of the program….

More about simple radio circuits that can be built at home, using common tools, after you learn such basics as identifying  and testing electronic components, reading circuit diagrams and properly soldering parts to circuit boards… Add to those abilities, a little later, how to design printed circuit boards, and yes,  I do expect that you buy yourself a good high quality digital multimeter and also as good as possible thermostatically controlled soldering station…. and really learn how to use it properly.

You can even go ahead and build some of the basic test instruments without having to wait for having enough funds in order to buy two or three more test instruments….  Kitchen table assembly of some simple radios is perfectly possible, but I warn you to really avoid damaging the kitchen table counter surface by burning it by misplacing the soldering iron !!!

Your best option is to prepare a medium size table, maybe a fold over one, and have it available , for example in  the attic, cellar or garage of your house !!! My two working tables, one for electronics and the other one for mechanical work are located in the garage, and one of them can be easily folded to the wall…

Now let me tell you more about home brewing some other simple circuits… One of my favorites is a very reliable , always easy starting quartz crystal oscillator…. It is an excellent test instrument , acting as a reliable signal source.

It uses two common NPN silicon transistors , and you can make quartz crystals , even slugglish ones , start generating radio frequency within the frequency range of 1 to 20 megaHertz… This two transistors simple circuit uses no critical parts, and will serve also as a frequency marker / calibrator… I am the happy owner of a quartz crystal that is marked as operating on exactly 7000 kiloHertz, and yes … it does oscillate very, really very near to that frequency, making it a very useful frequency marker.. right at the band edge of 40 meters and the harmonics fall very near 14, 21 and 28 megaHertz.

And talking about 40 meters, if the solar cycle continues to keep its activity at the present  very low levels, the amateur radio operators all around the world must realize that their chances for working nice DX above the 20 meters or 14 megaHertz band will be much diminished, making the installation of 160, 80, 40 and 30 meters bands antenna systems a really top priority…

The only other options left to enjoy ham radio if the present and the upcoming solar cycles are as poor as it looks like they are going to be are EME or Earth Moon Earth communications , and using the presently available low earth orbit satellites…. while we wait for the first ever amateur radio geostationary satellite in orbit above the equator….

Last but not least, prepare your station to use the popular digital communications modes, including ultra simple PSK31, the bare bones exchanges available with FT8, and learn how to use and promote the use of Olivia my favorite digital communications mode. EME contacts and ham satellites require installing special antennas, and in the case of EME, high power VHF, UHF or Microwave transmitters and extremely sensitive receivers…

Ham satellites at present are in my humble opinion not a very attractive option for the average amateur because the time windows available to work via satellite are not too frequent during the day and last for just barely a few minutes..

And now , at the end of the show… the consistently dissapoining bad news about the higher HF bands propagation… with the solar flux just barely near 70, and just a very weak sunspot active region with low magnetic activity, propagation on the 15, 12 and 10 meters bands is going to be poor… with only slightly chances of brief north to south and south to north openings… Best night time reception for short wave listening will be between 6 PM and 10 PM local time, on the frequency bands between 3  and 12 megahertz.

Send your signal reports and comments about this program to inforhc at enet dot cu or VIA AIR MAIL to Arnie Coro Radio Havana Cuba, Havana, Cuba

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FLARC Field Day Results!

On 12 Nov 2018 at 18:32, Karl Frank W2KBF wrote:

> FLARC Field Day Results!
> There were 125 entries as 4A. We came in 13th.
> There were three NNJ 4A entries, FLARC (6810 points), Cherryville
> (2802
> points) and Wayne (2202 points). We beat them handily.
> BARA entered as class 5A (6426 points). We beat them too.
> Not too shabby.
> Karl W2KBF

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Dxers Unlimited weekend edition for Sunday 11 NOVEMBER 2018

By Arnie Coro
radio amateur CO2KK

Hola amigos… this is Dxers Unlimited’s weekend edition… I am your host Arnie Coro , Radio Amateur CO2KK, and here is item one…

NICE INFORMATION about worldwide activity of amateur radio stations that will be active during the following days, with some of them extending the operation for several months…. Here is a partial list provided by the USA American Radio Relay League most recent good news….

DX News from the ARRL 9 November, 2018

Operating from SRI LANKA,  prefix 4S. Peter, DCØKK is QRV as 4S7KKG from Moragalla, IOTA AS-003, until April 1, 2019. Activity is on the HF bands using mainly CW and various digital modes. QSL via the log book of the world also known as LoTW.

MADAGASCAR, prefix 5R. Andy, OE7AJH and Thomas, OE7KUT are QRV as 5R8UP from Antananarivo, IOTA AF-013, until November 13. Activity is holiday style on 40 to 10 meters, and possibly 80 meters, using CW and SSB, and mainly during their local morning and evening hours. QSL via OE7AJH. In addition, Eric, F6ICX is QRV as 5R8IC from Saint Marie Island, IOTA AF-090, until mid February 2019. Activity is holiday style on 40 to 10 meters using mainly CW, with some SSB, RTTY, and PSK63. QSL to home call.

UGANDA, prefix 5X. Alan, G3XAQ will be QRV as 5X1XA from November 15 to 27. Activity will be on the HF bands. This includes being an entry in the upcoming CQ World Wide DX CW Contest as a Single Band/Unassisted on 20 meters entry. QSL to home call.

ALGERIA, prefix 7X. Some members from the Algerian Radio Amateur Union are QRV with special event station 7V1N from Djelfa until November 20. QSL via operators’ instructions.

MALDIVES,  prefix 8Q. Braco OE1EMS, will be QRV as 8Q7DX from South Male Atoll, IOTA AS-013, from November 10 to 25. Activity will be holiday style on 160 to 10 meters. This includes being an entry in the upcoming CQ World Wide DX CW contest. QSL to home call.

And a last chance to work a french special event station FRANCE, F. Special event station using callsign TM100ARM is QRV until November 12 in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. QSL via F5IQG.

Si amigos this is Dxers Unlimited’s weekend edition coming to your radio or Internet link connection from sunny beautiful La Habana Cuba soon to be celebrating the 499’s anniversary of its foundation, Yes, next year 2019 La Habana will be 500 years old. And yes it has an amateur radio club in each of its municipalities that will be participating soon in support of the Habana Marathon competition by providing instant communications on the 2 meters amateur band all along the Marathon route….

More active amateur radio stations challenging the poor HF propagation conditions…

from ENGLAND. Members of the Royal Navy Amateur Radio Society are QRV with special event station GB1ØØARM until November 28 in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. QSL information via GØTOC.

And from Italy using a United Nations prefix 4U ITALY, I. Members of the Amateur Radio Club at the United Nations Global Service Centre in Brindisi are QRV as 4U73B until November 23 to commemorate the 73rd anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. Activity is on 160 to 10 meters. QSL via 9A2AA.

EUROPEAN RUSSIA, UA. Special event stations R13ØANT and R13ØTU are active until the end of November to celebrate the 130th birthday of pioneer aircraft designer Andrei Nikolayevich Tupolev. QSL via UA3IIZ.

Si amigos, thousands of amateur radio stations from all around the world are expected to be active during the CQ Worldwide CW Contest [0000Z, Nov 24 to 2400Z, Nov 25]… including several well experienced teams of operators from Cuba, that will be using the T4 , tango four prefix, preserved here for special events stations…

Due to the expected bands conditions my forecast is that activity will be concentrated on the 20, 40 and 80 meters bands, with less contacts possible on 15 and 10 meters. For those stations capable of operating on 160 meters from nice low radio ambient noise locations, where the large size antennas required for that band can be installed the propagation  conditions are expected to be better than during last year’s contest.

Stations located inside the areas covered by TEP, Trans Equatorial Propagation, events will be able to add many points and multipliers… For example Cuban contest stations will be scanning 10 meters to pick up signals from Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Chile. Contest operators that use the 10 meters band have learned how to monitor the many automatic beacons operating on the segment from 28 point two to 28 point three megaHertz.

This is Radio Havana Cuba , the name of the show is Dxers Unlimited and here is our next radio hobby related information.

For those of us that live North of the Equator, one of the most interesting effects of winter propagation is a consequence of the contraction  of  the ionosphere… that causes a decrease  at night  of the maximum usable frequency for any given path after local sunset…One can witness the maximum usable frequency nose diving below even the seven megaHertz or 40 meters amateur band, and on some occasions the ionograms will show that the lower layer of the ionosphere will not support communications on frequencies above 6 megaHertz.

Yes , let me warn you that at times during solar minimum years, during the winter season  the maximum usable frequency at night may drop even below the six megaHertz band amigos !!!

See you all at the middle of the week edition of Dxers Unlimited, that will be on the air just after the half hour news service. Send your signal reports and comments about this and other Radio Havana Cuba programs to inforhc at enet dot cu, again inforhc at enet cu and Via Air Mail to Arnie Coro, Radio Havana Cuba, Havana Cuba….

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Ken Neubeck, WB2AMU, Six (6) Meter SME Presents At



About our Guest: Ken is active on Six and Ten Meters as well as being very active in QRP work on VHF and HF. He is a feature writer for Worldradio, CQ and CQ VHF magazines. He has written the only book dedicated to just Six Meters called SIX METERS, A GUIDE TO THE MAGIC BAND (WORLDRADIO BOOKS), which has just gone into its fourth edition. Also, he was co-writer with Gordon West for the book, “VHF PROPAGATION, A PRACTICAL GUIDE FOR RADIO AMATEURS” (CQ Publications).

A Rolling Stone gathers no moss – presentation Series Continues with a fine presentation on Six (6) Meters. We hope you all enjoy.


/T/ W2NZ

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And NOW . . . . . the VIDEO – 2018 Antenna Project, Shot & Edited by KM2C!!!

Shot and edited by our President Brad Kerber, KM2C – see what 40++ hours of work, 300+ manhours of work edited down to an educational and amusing video of it ALL in 13+ MINUTES!

Thank you all for your hard work, we have already experienced the repeaters enhanced reception and larger coverage range.


/T/ w2nz





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