Friday, January 15, 2010

Tower controversy with a twist 

Resident claim broadband tower causes health issues -- but tower was secretly turned off months ago

There's a great deal of intense fear among many in the public about the possible health impact of cell phone towers and high power radio waves. While there is actually some legitimate research into health impacts ongoing, most current research indicates current current communications technologies have relatively minimal (if any) affects on the human body, compared to more serious direct threats -- such as the ingestion of plastic residues. Nonetheless, there's been great public fear perpetrated by a variety of pseudo-medical sources decrying the health risks of radio waves.

Follow this link to read the entire story at Daily Tech.


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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

National Public Safety Communications Network 

Here is a brief but interesting video from the National Press Club yesterday answering reporters questions on the future of the D block of frequencies that are to be auctioned off and their need to be dedicated public safety.

National Press Club video from C-Span


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Haiti Earthquake - Keep 7045 kHz and 3720 kHz clear 

From the CQ / WorldRadio Online Newsroom:

All radio amateurs are requested to keep 7045 kHz and 3720 kHz clear for possible emergency traffic related to today’s major earthquake in Haiti.

International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Region II Area C Emergency Coordinator Arnie Coro, CO2KK, reports that as of 0245 UTC on January 13, nothing had been heard from radio amateurs in Haiti, but that the above frequencies were being kept active in case any Haitian hams manage to get on the air, and in case of other related events in surrounding areas, including aftershocks and a possible tsunami.

The following is from an e-mail from CO2KK:

A few minutes after the earthquake was felt in eastern Cuba’s cities, the Cuban Federation of Radio Amateurs Emergency Net was activated, with net control stations CO8WM and CO8RP located in the city of Santiago de Cuba, and in permanent contact with the National Seismology Center of Cuba located in that city.

Stations in the city of Baracoa, in Guantanamo province, were also activated immediately as the earth movements were felt even stronger there, due to its proximity to Haiti. CO8AZ and CO8AW went on the air immediately , with CM8WAL following. At the early phase of the emergency, the population of the city of Baracoa was evacuated far away from the coast, as there was a primary alert of a possible tsunami event or of a heavy wave trains sequence impacting the coast line at the city’s sea wall …

Baracoa could not contact Santiago de Cuba stations on 40 meters due to long skip after 5 PM local time, so several stations in western Cuba and one in the US State of Florida provided relays. CO2KK, as IARU Region II Area C Emergency Coordinator, helped to organize the nets , on 7045 kHz and also on 3720 kHz, while local nets in Santiago de Cuba and Baracoa operated on 2 meters.

As late as 9,45 PM local time 0245 UTC we have not been able to contact any amateur or emergency services stations in Haiti.

Amateurs from the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Venezuela were monitoring the 40 meter band frequency, that I notified to the IARU Region II executive Ramon Santoyo XE1KK as in use for the emergency, requesting that 7045 kHz be kept as clear as possible …

We are still keeping watch on 7045 kHz hoping that someone in Haiti may have access to a transceiver and at least a car battery to run it.

All information that has so far come from the Cuban seismologists tell us of a very intense earthquake, and also of the possibility of other events following.

Following the advice of the geophysicists, we are keeping the 7045 and 3720 kiloHertz frequencies active until further notice

The editors of CQ and WorldRadio will keep these lists updated with additional information as circumstances warrant.


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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Some interesting thoughts from another ham blog 

This is part of the latest entry from the Wirelessness! Blog

"Throughout the history of amateur radio the introduction of new technologies has been hampered by a resistance against change; often stemming from the mistaken belief that the current state of technology is a pinnacle of achievement. Spark operators resisted the transition to CW, and then later CW ops opposed the introduction of phone. AM phone ops resisted the introduction of SSB phone, FM analog ops are currently up in arms about "intrusion" from P25 and D*Star, etc."

Follow this LINK to read the entire entry.


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Monday, January 11, 2010

New from Yaesu 

As often happens while I was looking for something else I ran across that fact that Yaesu has a new radio in their line up. The dual band FT-350R.

As you know I have become a big fan of the Yaesu/Vertex line of VHV/UHF radios. I currently own four of them including an VX-7R hand held, FT-60 hand held, FT-2800M mobile and FT-7800 mobile. I have an Icom IC-2350H in the shack as well but like the feature set of the Yeasu radios much better. I think it is due to the fact that they tend to stay in the model of the Vertex commercial line for their ham rigs with the appropriate changes to firmware for frequency coverage and feature set.

The FT-350R seems to be a challenge to Kenwood with their TMD-710A which has always been a favorite of those that prefer digital modes. It looks that much like Chrysler used to do in the car market Yaesu has watched market place develop and what the consumers wanted and then jumped in with both feet intending to hit the mark harder than the competition. Having no experience with this radio I don't know if they have achieved this objective but looking at the specifications I like what they have come up with.

So if you are in the market for a dual band rig and you are involved in or thinking about getting involved in the digital modes you might want to give this one a look.

While I'm at it let me put in a shameless plug for one of the vendors that supports our largest local ham fest here in the Pittsburgh area. If you are looking to buy a new rig be it Icom, Kenwood or Yaesu consider placing your order with KJI Electronics. The Breeze Shooters Ham Fest is one of the largest in the Pittsburgh area and KJI has been very supportive of both the club and the ham fest. I like to return the favor when the chance arises.

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