Ham Radio Fills Communication Gaps In Nepal Rescue Effort

Amateur radio has stepped in to fill communication gaps in Nepal, which is struggling with power outages and a flaky Internet after a devastating earthquake on Saturday killed over 5,000 people. Though 99 persons have ham licenses in Kathmandu, about eight use high-frequency (HF) radios that can transmit long distances, while another 30 have very high frequency (VHF) and ultra high frequency (UHF) sets for local traffic, said Satish Kharel, a lawyer in Kathmandu, who uses the ham call sign 9N1AA. The hobbyist radio operators are working round-the-clock to help people get in touch with relatives, pass on information and alert about developing crises.
 

Source: /.

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ARRL DX SSB Contest This Weekend (3/8/2015)

ARRL DX SSB Contest This Weekend. Starts at 7:00 PM EST on Friday, and ends on Sunday at 6:59 PM EST.

Objective: To encourage W/VE stations to expand knowledge of DX propagation on the HF and MF bands, improve operating skills, and improve station capability by creating a competition in which DX stations may only contact W/VE stations.

W/VE amateurs work as many DX stations in as many DXCC entities as possible on the 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10 meter bands.

DX stations work as many W/VE stations in as many of the 48 contiguous states and provinces as possible.

For more information visit: http://www.arrl.org/arrl-dx

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ARRL Seeks Member Input on Draft HF Band Plan Proposals

The ARRL is asking members to comment by April 19 on possible changes to the League’s HF Band Plans suggested by the HF Band Planning Committee. The survey is part of the committee’s efforts to tweak the band plans for the RTTY/data/CW portions of 80 through 10 meters — excepting 60 meters. The committee developed its suggested revisions to the voluntary band plans after reviewing some 400 member comments in response to a March 2014 solicitation that sought suggestions for using the spectrum more efficiently so that data modes may coexist compatibly.

“The committee concluded that most of the concerns voiced by members could be addressed by modest adjustments to the existing band plans, and mainly by confining data modes with bandwidths greater than 500 Hz to the FCC-designated segments for automatically controlled digital stations (ACDS) and to parts of the RTTY/data subbands above those segments,” ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ said. His article detailing the committee’s suggestions will appear in the April edition of QST.

The proposed changes differentiate among ACDS, narrow RTTY/data modes having a bandwidth no greater than 500 Hz, and wider data modes having a bandwidth up to 2700 Hz.

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