Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Hurricane Watch Net to Activate for Nicole – Please Keep 14.325 and 7.268 MHz Clear

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

The Hurricane Watch Net is closely monitoring the progress of Tropical Storm Nicole. Nicole is forecast to make landfall somewhere along the Florida east coast between Daytona Beach and Fort Lauderdale during the early hours of Thursday morning.

The Hurricane Watch Net will activate Wednesday morning (November 9) at 10:00 AM EST (1500 UTC) on our primary frequency of 14.325 MHz. We will activate our 40-meter Net on 7.268 MHz at 4:00 PM EST (2100 UTC). We will remain on both 14.325.00 MHz and 7.268.00 MHz for as long as propagation will allow or until our services are no longer required.

During any net activation, we look for reporting stations who can provide us with any measured or estimated weather information that we can relay directly to the forecasters at National Hurricane Center in Miami. Such weather information we look for is maximum sustained winds, winds gusts, wind direction, barometric pressure, rainfall amount – how much over x-amount of time, storm surge, and damage. Should you have any outgoing Health and Welfare Traffic before, during, or after this event, we are happy to assist as we work closely with the Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN).

As always, we are available to provide backup communications to official agencies such as Emergency Operations Centers, Red Cross officials, and storm shelters in the affected area. We also collect and forward significant damage assessment data to government and non-government officials requesting such.

As always, we greatly appreciate the daily users and various nets who use 14.325.00 MHz and 7.268.00 MHz for allowing us a clear frequency. It certainly makes our job easier and I know those in the affected area appreciate it as well.

FCC Plans to Establish Space Bureau

FCC Chairwoman Jessica
Rosenworcel (FCC photo)
FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel announced plans in early November to reorganize the commission’s structure to create a new Space Bureau to consolidate all activities related to satellites. Under the plan, the International Bureau will have its satellite-related responsibilities transferred to the new Space Bureau and will be reconfigured as a standalone Office of International Affairs, modeled after the current Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) and Office of General Counsel. The Space Bureau will also deal with domestic satellite matters. 

It is unclear how or whether this change in FCC bureau structure will impact the Amateur Satellite Service. The FCC did not release a timetable for making these changes.

Ohio-Penn DX Bulletin QRT After Three Decades

An institution among DXers has been shut down after nearly 32 years. Ohio-Penn DX Bulletin founder and editor/publisher Tedd Mirgliotta, KB8NW, announced his retirement in the October 31 (and final) edition of the bulletin. Since 1991, the OPDX Bulletin has been providing DXers with regular updates on DXpeditions, planned activations by operators in rare locations and other news of interest to DXers. The bulletin was always offered at no cost to the reader.

In his retirement message, Mirgliotta noted that he had actually been providing DX information to hams for over 40 years, pioneering the use of computer communication and packet radio to do so, “starting on a local RTTY BBS, Packet Radio BBS and an online dial-up BBS called BARF80 (which received global phone calls before adding the Internet to it).”

John Papay, K8YSE, who has hosted the OPDX Bulletin on his website for many years, recalled that its audience often went beyond the ham radio DX community. “I checked my personal email from work one Monday morning,” he wrote, “and was a little concerned when I noticed there was one from someone at fcc.gov. My first thought was that I had violated some rule. But when I read the email, the question was, ‘Where is yesterday's OPDX Bulletin? It is not on your website!’ I don't remember why that was the case but as we exchanged emails, the sender told me that the first thing they did every Monday morning was to read the OPDX Bulletin while having their first cup. Part of their job was to field complaints about problems on the ham bands (you know what can happen when rare DX shows up), and the OPDX let them know what would be going on with various operations, when they would start and end, frequencies used etc. They could use this information to respond to the complaints in a meaningful way. When you put stuff on the web you just never know who might read it and how it might be used!”

While the weekly bulletins have now ended, Mirgliotta noted that “The OPDX Mailing List will still be active to provide upcoming DXpedition announcements and special press releases.” However, he added, “They will not be in bulletin format.”

OPDX Bulletin archives (back to 1999) will continue to be available online at <http://w.papays.com/opdx.html>.