Category Archives: News

Pacific Seafarer’s Net Assists in Rescue of Sailors on Sinking Sailboat

Pacific Seafarer’s Net (
Prepared by David Richer, WB6VGO–Net Relay

Pacific Seafarer’s Net Assists in Rescue of Sailors on Sinking Sailboat

On September 28, 2016 at approximately 0300 UTC, Charles Houlihan, KD6SPJ, a net relay station for the Pacific Seafarer’s net while monitoring 14.300 received a call for assistance from the captain of the Sailing Vessel (SV) Rafiki. The captain reported that the SV Rafiki, a 35-foot sailing vessel, was taking on water. Charles who was the captain of the SV Jacaranda and located at sea, contacted Randy VanLeeuwen, KH6RC also a net relay and located in Hawaii. Randy contacted the US Coast Guard Station to report the incident and provide Rafiki’s location, 230 miles south of Cold Bay, Alaska.

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HAARP Facility to Reopen in 2017 under New Ownership

The HAARP facility is located near Gakona, Alaska. Part of the massive antenna field is on the right.

Alaska’s High-Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) facility will reopen in 2017. The sprawling facility now is under the ownership of the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), and the UAF Geophysical Institute is preparing HAARP for a new sponsored research campaign that’s set to begin early next year, UAF Researcher Chris Fallen, KL3WX, told ARRL.

“For the first campaign we will only be bringing half of the array online, as we will only have half the tubes installed,” he explained. “It’s a long process and we have limited resources.” He noted that the transmitter shelters have been unheated since the previous campaign in the summer of 2014. “The five generators — approximately 3 MW each — have recently been tested individually and are verified operational.””This involves, for example, reinstalling the vacuum tubes in each of the 10 kW amplifiers — eventually 360 in total — that were removed by the US Air Force [the facility’s former owner] for warm storage in the main facility,” Fallen said. He later clarified that’s just one-half of the 720 tubes required to equip all of HAARP’s transmitters.

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Pocket FM Brings Radio to War-Torn Areas

The transmission antenna is easy to set up. Photos courtesy IXDS

By James Careless

Reaching populations in war-torn areas is a major challenge for radio broadcasters, especially if their main transmitters don’t cover these isolated areas completely.

This is why independent Iraqi broadcaster Alghad Radio is experimenting with book-sized “Pocket FM” transmitters capable of relaying FM signals in a 3.7 mile (6 km) radius.

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Silver Dollar Hofbrau Closes it’s Doors

It’s the end of an era for a popular spot in Northeast Fresno.

The Silver Dollar Hofbrau closed its doors Tuesday night after more than three decades in business.
Owner and former California Republican Party Chairman Truman Campbell joined his band “The Silver Dollars” as they’ve done every Tuesday night.

Campbell says the restaurant and bar has had a great following over the years, but times have changed. “It has been a staple. It was the place to be for many years. But now there are new kids on the block. New demographics. People have moved out of this area. They’ve moved on,” said Campbell.

The Silver Dollar Hofbrau has been open for 35 years. So far, no word on what the new owners plan to do with the building in the future.

Amateur Radio Payloads Lost in Launch Explosion
October 28, 2014

Satellites Carrying Amateur Radio Payloads Among Those Lost in Launch Explosion

The GOMX-2 and RACE CubeSats were among more than 2 dozen satellites that were lost after an unmanned Orbital Space Sciences (OSC) Antares 130 vehicle exploded spectacularly shortly after launch at 2222 UTC on Tuesday, October 28, from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Both satellite packages carried payloads that operated on Amateur Radio frequencies. The Antares is a new medium-class launch vehicle developed by OSC. The rocket exploded about 6 seconds after launch, sending a huge ball of fire hurtling toward the ground, which set a massive fire at the NASA launch site.

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Radio Amateur is Among Nobel Prize in Chemistry Winners
October 8, 2014

Radio Amateur is Among Nobel Prize in Chemistry Winners

A California radio amateur and ARRL member was among the three winners of the Nobel Prize in chemistry. William Moerner, WN6I, of Los Altos, a chemistry professor at Stanford University, will share the prestigious award equally with two other researchers — Eric Betzig and Stefan Hell — for their work in high-resolution microscopy or nanoscopy. For many years scientists had believed that an optical microscope could never yield better than 0.2 micrometer resolution. The three scientists overcame that limitation through what the Nobel panel called “the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy.”

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NPR: Celebrating 100 Years Of Ham Radio
May 26, 2014

Celebrating 100 Years Of Ham Radio

This month marks the centennial of the American Radio Relay League, the largest association of ham radio lobbyists in the United States, which is headquartered in Newington, Conn. That means it will be a special year for the hundreds who converge annually on W1AW, a small station there, known as “the mecca of ham radio,” to broadcast radio signals across the globe.

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Ham radio: Old technology gets new respect
by Jonathan Serrie
May 19, 2014

Ham radio: Old technology gets new respect

ATLANTA – Seeking reliable backup communication in a crisis, emergency managers are finding new solutions in an old technology: ham radio.

“It’s just another avenue, another opportunity for us to be able to communicate,” said Herb Schraufnagel, public safety captain with Emory University Hospital Midtown.

Emory HealthCare is among a growing number of hospital systems to adopt ham radio. Hospital administrators and government officials took a lesson from Hurricane Katrina, which left some Gulf Coast medical centers isolated from the outside world, as landlines and cell towers failed.

When power, phone and Internet services go down, a battery-powered amateur radio and portable antenna can provide that crucial link to the outside world.

“Ham radio will never die,” said Barry Thomas, Sr., a ham radio enthusiast and employee at Emory University Hospital Midtown.

“The quickest means of communication is Morse Code. It’ll get out when none of this will,” Thomas said, referring to a room filled with computers and smartphones.’

“It is interesting that some of the technology that has been around for 80, 90, 100 years is still relevant,” said John Davis, a ham radio enthusiast.

In addition to major hurricanes, Davis says the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 rekindled interest in ham radio as a public safety tool.

The Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) has set up a permanent ham radio station in its command center.

“We look at ham radio operators just like GEMA staff, just like DOT staff and Georgia State Patrol staff,” said GEMA Director Charlie English. “They are a critical partner with us.”

The number of ham radio licenses is at an all-time high in the U.S. (723,182, as of April, according to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) data compiled by Joe Speroni of the Amateur Radio Education Web Site,

“I really hope that it stays relevant and that we can be a resource to emergency management agencies,” enthusiast Davis said. “Because I think that is where ham radio shines.”

Fox News producer David Lewkowict contributed to this article.

Jonathan Serrie joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in April 1999 and currently serves as a correspondent based in the Atlanta bureau.