Jamboree On The Air 2015 Stations Urged to Register, Report

As of October 1, more than 350 US stations had signed up to take part in the 2015 Jamboree On The Air (JOTA). The 58th annual event takes place October 16-18, and JOTA organizers are urging all who plan to participate to register, so they can provide a list of participating stations and their locations. A list of US-registered stations is available on the K2BSA website. JOTA is aimed at fostering Scout-to-Scout communication across borders and is the largest Scouting event in the world. Last year worldwide Scouting participation included 1.1 million Boy Scouts and another 200,000 Girl Guides/Girl Scouts. In the US 13,326 Scouts and visitors took part in JOTA 2014. The Boy Scouts also encourage participating stations to submit JOTA reports and photos following this month’s event.

“We need your report to demonstrate the success of JOTA to those in Scouting and Amateur Radio,” said Jim Wilson, K5ND, the national JOTA organizer. He asked participating JOTA stations to note down the number of Scouts participating, Amateur Radio licensees, and radios on the air, as well as the total number of contacts and states and countries contacted.

“We would also like to see your best photos and hear some stories about your event,” Wilson said.

The K2BSA call sign will be in use for JOTA from every US call district as well as from KH6 and KL7. Wilson suggested that JOTA groups consider obtaining 1 × 1 special event call signs for their operations.

ARRL Education & Technology Program Grant Application Deadline Looms

November 1 is the deadline for schools to apply for 2016 ARRL Education & Technology Program ( ETP) grants.

The ETP offers two types of grants. School Station Grants are awarded to schools providing a plan to use Amateur Radio as part of an enrichment program and/or as part of in-classroom learning. ETP Progress Grants offer modest support to teachers now using Amateur Radio as an instructional tool who need additional resources for specific purposes. Progress grants are also available for teachers who need resources to start teaching wireless technology and electronics topics as part of a longer-range plan to involve Amateur Radio.

A primary ETP objective is to boost wireless technology literacy among US students and educators through Amateur Radio.

“Amateur Radio provides hands-on opportunities for students to learn about radio science!” said ARRL Educational Services Manager Debra Johnson, K1DMJ. “We look for commitment from teachers and school administrators, a well-conceived plan to use the resources to engage students, and a working relationship with local ham radio volunteers who are willing to serve as mentors,” she explained.

Applicants should review and complete the ETP grant application form. Submitted applications are evaluated on several criteria.

The ETP depends upon the sustaining support of the Amateur Radio community. Since its inception in 2000, the program has grown to benefit more than 550 schools. The program welcomes your donation. For more information, contact Debra Johnson, K1DMJ, at ARRL Headquarters.


Courtesy ARRL Letter 10/8/2015

ARRL President Congratulates Hurricane Watch Net on its 50th Anniversary

On behalf of the League, ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN, has congratulated the Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) on the 50th anniversary of its founding by Jerry Murphy, K8YUW.

“Thanks to the efforts of the Net’s dedicated and knowledgeable volunteers across 5 decades, Amateur Radio has played a key role in helping protect the lives of a great many people in harm’s way,” President Craigie told HWN Manager Bobby Graves, KB5HAV, this week in an e-mail. “The Net demonstrates how significantly Amateur Radio contributes to emergency preparedness and promotes international goodwill. Please relay to the Net’s members my appreciation and respect for a half-century of outstanding service. Best wishes for many more years of successful operation of the Hurricane Watch Net.”

Graves replied, “It is an honor and pleasure to be a part of such a great group of ham radio operators with a rich history. I will certainly share your letter with our membership and, more importantly, with our founder, Jerry Murphy, K8YUW.” Murphy founded the HWN in 1965 during Hurricane Betsy as “an informal group of radio amateurs who recognized a need to provide communications to and from hurricane affected areas.” The net now enjoys a formal relationship with the National Hurricane Center and its WX4NHC amateur station.

The HWN stood down on October 4 after activating more than once for Hurricane Joaquin, at one point a dangerous Category 4 storm. Graves called the activations “very successful in that we had many more reporting stations and lots of data to forward to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.” The HWN had reactivated as Joaquin posed a threat to Bermuda after battering the Bahamas with high winds and heavy rainfall. “Joaquin passed just to the west [of Bermuda] as a Category 2 hurricane, sparing everyone from the extremely damaging winds,” Graves noted over the weekend after the net had shut down for the last time. “For the most part, in addition to lots of heavy rain, on-and-off power outages were reported throughout the day.”

The HWN suspended its initial activation for Hurricane Joaquin on October 2, after 3 days of near-continuous operation, only to reactivate on October 3. Although the storm did not make landfall on the East Coast of the US, it caused torrential rainfall and severe flooding in the Carolinas, and has been blamed for more than a dozen deaths.

The HWN activates on 14.325 MHz whenever a hurricane is within 300 miles of projected landfall or becomes a serious threat to a populated area.


Courtesy of the ARRL Letter 10/8/2015