Sunday, October 9, 2016

Hurricane Watch Net Secures after Record Activation

Hurricane Watch Net Manager Bobby Graves, KB5HAV, reports that the net secured at 0400 UTC on Sunday, October 8, after 6 days and 7 hours of continuous operation, the net's longest-ever activation. He says the decision to close the net was made once it was clear that there were no longer any hurricane-force winds onshore and that Hurricane Matthew - although still a Category 1 hurricane at the time - was moving back out to sea.

Graves thanked everyone who participated in the net and who helped by keeping the net frequencies clear.

Some local emergency nets may still be active, especially in the Carolinas.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Hurricane Matthew Update: Hams Staffing Shelters in Florida, Georgia, South & North Carolina

The following update is from ARRL:
[UPDATED 2016-10-08 @ 1430 UTC] Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) volunteers in Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas continue to support communication during the response to Hurricane Matthew, which has been downgraded to a Category 1 storm. Governors have declared states of emergency for some or all counties, and multiple shelters have opened in all four states. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) reports that as of mid-morning on Saturday, October 8, strong winds and dangerous storm surge were affecting the coast of South Carolina, with heavy rains and gusty winds spreading inland. A hurricane warning extends from north of Altamaha Sound in Georgia to Surf City, North Carolina.
Some 1.2 million residents of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina were reported to be without power, and thousands have evacuated to shelters, where ham radio volunteers have been supporting communication.
As of 1200 UTC on October 8, Hurricane Matthew about 20 miles south-southeast of Charleston, South Carolina. Maximum sustained winds were 85 MPH, and the storm was moving northeast at 12 MPH. Hurricane Matthew has yet to make landfall.
The storm’s current projected path shows it looping around toward the east, opening up the possibility of a second strike on the Bahamas and Florida sometime next week, likely in a much-weakened state.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Hurricane Matthew Update - All ARES Units in Florida Fully Activated

The following update is from the ARRL:

ARES Activates as Florida Girds for Hurricane Matthew

The entire State of Florida now is under an Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) Level 1 — or full — activation as Hurricane Matthew heads for landfall in the US. The deadly storm already has caused 16 deaths, most of them in Haiti, as it moved northward through the Caribbean. Northern Florida Section Emergency Coordinator Strait Hollis, KT4YA, will oversee the ARES activation for the entire state. The Northern Florida ARES Net, under HF Net Manager Don Duckett, N9MN, has been called up on 3950 or 7252 kHz — depending upon propagation — starting at 1300 UTC and will remain operational for the duration of the threat.

“This net is for life safety communications,” ARRL Northern Florida Section Manager Steve Szabo, WB4OMM, stressed. “This net is not for collecting weather data, idle conversations, or ‘chit chat.’” Szabo called on operators outside of the Northern Florida or Southern Florida sections having “good solid access to HF” to contact Duckett with their availability to serve as net control stations and to check into the net.
The Statewide Amateur Radio Network (SARnet) also has been activated for statewide use for life safety communications, starting at 1300 UTC and continuing until terminated. SARnet is a network of linked UHF repeaters serving Florida. Szabo asked operators in the Florida Panhandle or in the West Central Florida Section with solid access to SARnet to contact Assistant Section Manager Dave Dave Davis, WA4WES, with their availability to serve as net control operators.

[See item below for additional frequencies in use for hurricane nets.]

Frequencies Active for Hurricane Matthew

Predicted Track for Hurricane Matthew as of 6 Oct 2016
(Courtesy NOAA/National Hurricane Center)
As Hurricane Matthew continues to approach the US east coast, the ARRL reports that the following frequencies are in use or planned for use for hurricane-related nets. Please avoid transmitting on these frequencies unless you have hurricane-related traffic for a net:

From ARRL:
These Amateur Radio frequencies are known to be in use or are available for use during the response to Hurricane Matthew. Please avoid interfering with these frequencies, and do not check into any emergency nets unless you genuinely have something of importance to contribute.

International SATERN Net: 14.265 MHz (USB) Health & Welfare Traffic
Hurricane Watch Net (HWN): 14.325 MHz (USB), 7.268 MHz (LSB): Weather data and storm reports from stations in affected area
Cuba (Primary): 7.110 MHz (LSB)
Cuba (Alternate 1): 7.120 MHz (LSB)
Cuba (Alternate 2): 7.045 MHz

Cuba (Alternate 3): 7.080 MHz
Cuba: 3.720 MHz

Cuba: 3.740 MHz
IARU Region 2: 3.750 MHz Emergency Center of Activity Frequency
IARU Region 2: 7.060 MHz Emergency Center of Activity Frequency
IARU Region 2: 14.300 MHz Global Emergency Center of Activity Frequency
IARU Region 2: 18.160 MHz Global Emergency Center of Activity Frequency

IARU Region 2: 21.360 MHz Global Emergency Center of Activity Frequency
IARU Region 2: 18.160 MHz Global Emergency Center of Activity Frequency
VoIP Hurricane Net: WX-Talk Conference, Node #7203 on Echolink and IRLP Reflector 9219. IRLP Reflector 9553 is the backup. (Due to the number of limited routes to the Echolink node for mobile devices, monitor WX-TALK on a desktop computer if possible.) 

Live internet stream of the Hurricane Watch Net is available at

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Hurricane Watch Net Active - Pse keep 14.325 & 7.268 Clear

With Hurricane Matthew blasting its way through the Caribbean and threatening the entire east coast of the United States, the Hurricane Watch Net ( is active 24/7 until further notice, operating primarily on 14.325 MHz during the day and 7.268 MHz at night. (If propagation is poor on 20 meters, the net may move to 40 during the day as well, or operate simultaneously on both frequencies.)

Predicted track of Hurricane Matthew as of 0000 UTC,
October 5, 2016 (National Hurricane Center map)
Unless you are in an affected or threatened area with hurricane-related traffic for the net, please keep both 14.325 and 7.268 clear at all times until the storm's threat has passed. Even if you are not in the eastern US or Caribbean, remember that propagation may be such that your signal may cause interference even if you cannot hear signals at your station.

All weather and emergency preparedness officials are reporting that this is a very dangerous hurricane and everyone in potentially affected areas should prepare, both personally and in terms of communications gear.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Tentative 10/1 Hurricane Watch Net Activation for Matthew

The following is from Hurricane Watch Net Manager Bobby Graves, KB5HAV:

The Hurricane Watch Net has tentative plans to activate for Hurricane Matthew on Saturday, October 1, 2016 @ 5:00 PM EDT – 2100 UTC on our primary net frequency of 14.325 MHz. Once activated, the net will remain in continuous operation until further notice. We plan to operate 14.325 MHz by day and 7.268 MHz by night. If propagation dictates, we will operate both frequencies at the same time. Should there be any change to this plan, we will announce on our website (, numerous HF nets, as well as the amateur radio media.

Please listen closely before transmitting on or adjacent to these frequencies. If the net is active, please QSY unless you have traffic for the net.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

New CQ Calendars Have Arrived

The 2017-2018 CQ Amateur Radio Calendars have arrived! If you've already ordered, thank you for your order! Your calendar will be arriving soon! If you haven't ordered yet, click on the link below and order yours today! We've kept the price at only $10.95 plus shipping (USA $3; CN/MX $5; all other countries $10).

Here's the link: <>

Special offer:
Order a 5-year subscription to CQ (print or digital in the US; digital only elsewhere) - at a special price - and get the calendar for FREE! Details are at the bottom of the calendar ordering page above!

Action on Amateur Radio Parity Act

H.R. 1301, the so-called Amateur Radio Parity Act, which would guarantee hams living in deed-restricted developments the right to "effective outdoor … antennas," was passed by the House of Representatives on September 12 by a voice vote.

At press time, the bill was still awaiting action in the Senate and the ARRL was urging all amateurs to contact their senators in support of the legislation.

The ARRL has a page on the "Rally Congress" website that will generate letters for you, based on your address. The link is: <>. (CQ joins ARRL in supporting passage of this bill and encouraging readers to e-mail their senators.)

FCC Levies Large Fine for Interference, Unlicensed Operation

The FCC has proposed fining a New York City man $23,000 for unlicensed operation on amateur radio frequencies and transmitting a false distress call over a New York Police Department (NYPD) frequency. According to the ARRL Letter, the FCC issued a Notice of Apparent Liability at the end of August to Daniel Delise of Astoria, New York. Delise has been under FCC scrutiny for four years.

The subject of multiple complaints that the FCC had not been able to verify, Delise was confronted by FCC field agents at his home last April, while transmitting on the 2-meter band, according to the ARRL. He admitted making the transmissions and was cited for unlicensed operation. Within a few weeks, the NYPD arrested Delise for making a false officer-in-distress call on one of its radio channels and for possessing radios capable of operating on police frequencies, which is against state law (licensed amateurs are exempted). 

The FCC may have trouble collecting the fine … the ARRL Letter reports that Delise pled guilty to the state charges against him and is now in prison.

ARRL Says "AirGig" is NOT Repackaged BPL

(AT&T image)
Recent news stories about AT&T's new "AirGig" service that promises to deliver broadband wireless by using power lines have many hams concerned that this is another attempt at implementing Broadband over Power Lines, or BPL, which caused significant interference on ham bands before failing economically a decade or more ago. But the ARRL says there's no cause for worry.

 According to a report in the ARRL Letter, the new system currently under test uses the surface of power lines to transmit millimeter-wave RF signals at frequencies between 30 and 300 GHz. The League does not expect to encounter interference problems, even among hams active on amateur allocations in that range. "The sky is not falling," says ARRL Lab Manager and BPL expert Ed Hare, W1RFI.