Saturday, April 11, 2020

On the Plus Side…

Trying to make lemonade out of lemons, the New Zealand Association of Radio Transmitters has gotten government approval to treat the coronavirus lockdown as a special event and, according to Newsline, amateur stations there have been temporarily authorized to use "ZM" prefixes instead of their usual "ZL" call signs.
Newsline also reports that Indonesia's LAPAN-A2 satellite has been programmed to send a "Stay Healthy, Stay at Home" message on its APRS downlink.

Several in-person conferences have gone online, including this year's HamSCI Workshop (see May issue's VHF+ column) and the IARU Region 2 Emergency Communication and Satellite workshops. The latter two, according to the ARRL Letter, will be held in parallel on May 30-31. See the IARU-Region 2 website for details. In addition, a planned statewide ARES conference in Ohio was remade into a statewide operate-from-home drill. See May's Emergency Communications column for details.

Also covered in our EmComm column for May is help being offered by hams in developing a "MacGyver" ventilator using an Arduino microcontroller and parts from hardware stores. In an update to what's in our column, the ARRL is reporting that trial PC boards for the control circuitry are being developed and tested prior to large-scale fabrication.