GigaParts Opens Las Vegas Location with Former AES Employees

Huntsville, Alabama, January 6, 2017 — After Amateur Electronic Supply went out of business in July, GigaParts began hiring the AES staff in Las Vegas and working on moving the operation to a new location less than 5 minutes from the famous Las Vegas Strip and just 3 miles from the former AES building. Although the retail showroom won’t be ready for visitors for another few months, starting today, the Las Vegas store becomes the primary distribution center for GigaParts shipments to the western half of the US. That means fast, affordable shipping to the huge population of hams in California and other western states, without sales tax!

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FCC Dismisses Two Petitions from Radio Amateurs

The FCC has turned down two petitions filed in 2016, each seeking similar changes in the Part 97 Amateur Service rules. James Edwin Whedbee, N0ECN, of Gladstone, Missouri, had asked the Commission to amend the rules to reduce the number of Amateur Radio operator classes to Technician, General, and Amateur Extra by merging remaining Novice class licensees into the Technician class and all Advanced class licensees into the Amateur Extra class. In a somewhat related petition, Jeffrey H. Siegell, WB2YRL, of Burke, Virginia, had requested that the FCC grant Advanced class license holders Morse code operating privileges equivalent to those enjoyed by Amateur Extra class licensees.

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630 Meters Becoming a “Mainstream Amateur Band, Experiment Coordinator Says

The coordinator of the ARRL’s WD2XSH 600-Meter Experimental Group — Fritz Raab, W1FR — said in his latest quarterly report that 630 meters is becoming quite active, with both Amateur Radio and Part 5 Experimental stations taking advantage of the band, which is still not available in the US.

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Boy Scouts’ Radio Merit Badge Requirements to Include Amateur Radio Direction Finding Option

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) have updated the requirements for the Radio Merit Badge for 2017, although a formal announcement is pending the publication of the 2017 Boy Scouts Requirements pamphlet. A new option for the Radio Merit Badge is Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF). ARRL ARDF Coordinator Joe Moell, K0OV, said he’s “really excited” about the move, and he credited Jamboree on the Air Coordinator (JOTA) and K2BSA trustee Jim Wilson, K5ND, with being the “spark plug” behind the ARDF addition.

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Ruh-roh! Rick Ruhl rolled out of Ham Radio Deluxe in software kill-switch aftermath

Cofounder ejects over blacklist for bad reviews

The developer of Ham Radio Deluxe – a popular app used by thousands of hams – has restructured its management following claims it punished users who wrote critical reviews.

HRD Software said in a statement on Friday that co-founder Rick Ruhl will step down to pursue other interests. Ruhl, along with co-owners Mike Carper and Randy Gawtry, ran the radio software company after buying the rights to the code in 2011.

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BY70-1 FM Transponder Satellite

 

A CZ-2D rocket carrying the amateur radio FM transponder satellite BY70-1 was launched on Wednesday, December 28 at 03:23 UT.

BY70-1 CubeSat
BY70-1 CubeSat

Update: Paul Stoetzer N8HM reports working Wyatt Dirks AC0RA through the FM transponder during the 1709 UT pass on December 28. Paul says “Uplink requires precise frequency adjustment and there’s a delay on the downlink, but the signal is strong”. A recording of the transponder can be heard at https://soundcloud.com/paul-stoetzer/by70-1-1706z-28-dec-2016

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Rotary Chocolate Run February 18, 2017 – Comms Volunteers Needed

When:

Saturday February 18, 2017. Time: Approx. 7:00am to 11:00am

Location:

Woodward Park, Fresno, California

Mission:

To provide health and safety communications between water stations, observation posts, and event coordinator.

Manpower needed:

6+ communications volunteers.

Contact:

Contact Rob Mavis for more details and if you wish to volunteer. Sign up online by clicking: Rotary Run Comm Volunteer Signup form.

Rob Mavis AE6GE – 559-272-6791 or ae6ge@k6arp.org

Tomsk-TPU-120 CubeSat to deploy during EVA

The amateur radio CubeSat Tomsk-TPU-120 may be deployed during a Russian spacewalk (EVA) in July 2017.

Tomsk-TPU-120 CubeSat – Credit Tomsk Polytechnic University
Tomsk-TPU-120 CubeSat – Credit Tomsk Polytechnic University

The satellite was developed by students at the Tomsk Polytechnic University to test new space materials technology and is the world’s first space vehicle with a 3D-printed structure. It was launched from Baikonur in Kazakhstan to the ISS on March 31, 2016 in a Progress-MS-2 cargo vessel.

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Amateur Radio in Fresno County and the Central Valley of California