FEMA – Telecommunications Operator Reservists

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is seeking telecommunications operator reservists to assist in emergency recovery efforts on an intermittent, on-call basis. The deadline to apply is December 8, but FEMA will not take any applications beyond the first 200, which may come sooner than that.

These FEMA reservist positions seem well suited to radio amateurs. Duties include sending, receiving, and distributing HF radio messages between first responders using the phonetic alphabet, Morse code, call signs, continuous wave, and proper frequencies based on network requirements, as well as setting up, establishing, and maintaining an HF radio site in an austere environment and performing site analysis to determine an optimal location.

Among other requirements, candidates should have an understanding of radio wave propagation for day, night, and transitional period frequency use, and be able to maintain station message logs and compile communication reports.

The Reservist Program is an appointment type granted under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, Section 306(b), which authorizes FEMA to appoint such temporary employees as necessary to accomplish work authorized under the Act. See the position description on the USAJobs website for complete information.

From: http://www.arrl.org/news/fema-seeking-reserve-telecommunications-operators

National Amateur Radio Operators Day Resolution

Arizona Congresswoman Introduces National Amateur Radio Operators Day Resolution

US Representative Debbie Lesko of Arizona has introduced a resolution designating April 18, 2021, as National Amateur Radio Operators Day, to recognize the important contributions of amateur radio operators.

“Amateur radio operators are critical in times of crisis and our communities are safer thanks to their dedication to sharing important information with the public,” Lesko said. She was approached to introduce the resolution by 12-year-old Raymond, N7KCB, from Peoria, Arizona.

“I started Long Distance Responders so I can help prepare the community for emergencies with amateur radio,” said Raymond. “There might be a price for a radio, but the ability and knowledge to help someone is truly priceless.”

As Lesko’s resolution notes, World Amateur Radio Day (WARD) is celebrated annually on April 18 to commemorate the founding of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) in 1925, and she said her resolution recognizes the amateur radio community with a national day in the United States in 2021. The resolution cites the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES®) for providing “invaluable emergency communications services following recent natural disasters, including but not limited to helping coordinate disaster relief efforts following Hurricanes Katrina, Wilma, and Maria and other extreme weather disasters.”

ARRL Foundation Scholarship Application Deadline

Notice of ARRL Foundation Scholarship Application deadline

The ARRL Foundation scholarship application period for the academic year 2021 ends on December 31, 2020. The Foundation issued nearly $300,000 in scholarships in 2020 and for the academic year 2021 there has been a significant increase in the number of large dollar scholarships thanks to a generous contribution from the Amateur Radio Digital Communication group (ARDC).

For the academic year 2021, there are two new $25,000 scholarships, thirteen $10,000 scholarships, nine $5,000 scholarships as well as dozens of $1,000 and $500 scholarships.

A description of the many scholarships available is online:  http://www.arrl.org/scholarship-descriptions

It is also very easy to apply as scholarship applications are online:  http://www.arrl.org/scholarship-application

Since only amateur radio operator students may apply, the chances of being selected for a scholarship are good. It would be a shame for your members to miss this opportunity. Please place a notice in your December Newsletter or send a separate e-mail to your Section to let your members know that the ARRL Foundation offers over 100 scholarships and it only takes a simple online application to apply.

Since 1973, the ARRL Foundation, with the generosity of many donors and the hard work of a long line of dedicated Foundation Directors, has had a positive impact on the lives of many amateur radio operator students. To ensure that this positive impact does not wane, I ask each of you to timely notify your members of this opportunity. Being awarded an ARRL Foundation scholarship could mean the difference in whether a student can pursue their education in 2021 or not.

Thank you and the Foundation and I wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Dr. David Woolweaver, K5RAV
President, ARRL Foundation

Richard J. Finch, Sr. – W3RKT – SK

Richard J. Finch, Sr. – W3RKT 
Age 84, passed away peacefully into the arms of Jesus, on Tuesday, November 17, 2020, surrounded by his loving wife, Carolyn; and his children, Diane (Bill) Minsterman, Richard, Jr., Will (Kathleen), and Paul (Brandi); Rich’s grandchildren, Jessica (Pete) Leehan, Bill (Kim) Minsterman, Carly Quinlan, Julian, Chloe, Gabriel, Catriona, and Felix; Rich’s great-grandchildren, Abby, Emma, Carter, Noah, Nathaniel, and Nolan. Rich was predeceased by his first wife, Marianne Hogle Finch (mother of Diane, Rich, and Will). Richard’s siblings are Amorilla Schwartz, Earl Charles, and Joanne Finch, each deceased. His other siblings are Janet O’Black, Carol Finch, Alma Cristofano, Dory Smith, and James Finich. Family and friends welcome Thursday 4-8 p.m. WILLIAM SLATER II FUNERAL SERVICE, (412-563-2800), 1650 Greentree Rd., Scott Twp. 15220. Funeral Mass in St. Mary of the Mount Church Friday 10 a.m. Burial to follow in Queen of Heaven Cemetery. Due to COVID-19 requirements, everyone must wear a mask and practice social distancing. www.slaterfuneral.com

FYI – Hamshack Hotline Users

Hi folks,

We’re seeing RECORD spike in growth (a good thing). This proves that HH is a valuable and popular service for the Ham community. As such, we’re also seeing a large number of lines not connected (abandoned numbers).

Numbers on HH are a precious and valuable commodity. Because of the record growth we are seeing, we are now tightening our policy to reclaim numbers that show to be abandoned. If your phone does not stay connected to the network more than 30 consecutive days, we reserve the right to reclaim your number and issue it to someone else.

On HHUS alone, we currently have 1717 provisioned lines, of which 660 are showing OFFLINE. If your phone is not online, please be sure to keep it connected. We are automating this process to reduce the burden on our team.

Thanks for your attention to this matter as we continue to experience record growth.

Is a Perfect Antenna Necessary for the New-To-HF Ham Operator?


Are you new to operating on the shortwave frequencies (or, high-frequencies–HF; 3 MHz to 30 MHz; 80m, 75m, 60m, 40m, 30m, 20m, 17m, 15m, 12m, 10m)? Is the prospect of figuring out a good HF antenna a bit daunting?

Here’s a question that might be relevant: Does an amateur radio operator need to design a perfect antenna, in order to get on HF?

Consider: It might not take as much antenna as you may think necessary to make two-way contacts on shortwave radio.

Often, makeshift antennae are effective enough to be viable. This is proven by those who go to parks, mountain tops, or go mobile with HF. They use compromise antenna designs. Simple dipoles, end-feed wires, and sometimes loops or a vertical antenna. Those are far from the perfect antenna. Is there even such a thing as a perfect antenna? No.

My advice? Start with SOMETHING just to get on the air.

Start with what you can, and then start to enhance, improve, and learn the secrets of HF communications (hint: most of your success will come by improving your antenna system, including a good ground system).


The bottom line: just get something up in the air and start communicating. Improve things over time. You’ll have much fun that way. (Check out: Fiddle Factor – Get on the air!)

Case in point: here’s a look at my makeshift antenna that I put up just to get on the air from my new residence in Ohio:

With this antenna, I’ve made successful two-way voice and Morse code contacts (QSOs) with stations in Europe and across North America. I am able to tune it on the 80-, 75-, 60-, 40-, 30-, 20-, 15-, 17-, 12-, and 10-Meter bands. Reverse beacon detection pick up my Morse-code CW signals, especially on 40 meters (the band on which it is tuned physically). Watch: https://g.nw7us.us/3ldoa8K

Don’t mind the first part of the video, in which I show you my new QTH (residence). I just moved here from Nebraska. There’s plenty of room for antennas, and there are some tall trees!

I’m excited, and I plan on improving this antenna and getting it up higher–somewhere around 40 or 50 feet up in the air–in time for the November CQ WW contest at the end of the month.

Of course, I want to make a proper dipole out of this example antenna. But, while I wait for the rest of the parts I need to complete this antenna project (pulleys and a ladder, and maybe a rope launcher), I’ve put this makeshift antenna on the air. It is just high enough so that I can enjoy some time on the shortwave bands.

73 de NW7US

FROM: https://forums.qrz.com/index.php?threads/new-to-shortwave-hf-daunted-by-antenna-choices.733485/

Nearly 2000-mile record-setting contact on 433Mhz

Propagation is a fun thing — especially when you’re talking thousands of miles on UHF! On October 16, 2020 a 1,950 mile contact was made on 433Mhz FM between the Island of St. Helena (U.K.) and Plumstead, South Africa.

The two stations involved in the contact were Garry, ZD7GWM and Tom, ZS1TA in South Africa.

The power used for the contact was a mere 35 watts using a vertical antenna.

How a UHF contact like this possible

So how was this possible? Looking at predicted tropospheric conditions from October 16, 2020 — a marine duct is likely what allowed the two stations to log the contact.

Courtesy of F5LEN/EI7GL

Marine Tropo (MT) occurs when warm dry air overrides a cooler body of water. Marine inversions often extend the entire breadth of lakes and can extend for thousands of miles over the ocean, like in this case. It also spreads into coastal areas by way of sea or lake breezes.

Marine Tropo can become enhanced or combined with other types such as High-Pressure Tropo which can lead to even stronger signals over farther distances.

Tropospheric ducting is not unheard of between St. Helena and South Africa. However, it’s usually on VHF. During the past few years Garry has made numerous contacts on VHF with South African ham radio operators.

The incredible distance for this 70cm contact may be hard to conceptualize. It would be equivalent to a station in New York City having a QSO with someone in Salt Lake City. It doesn’t break the reported 70cm tropospheric record of 2,493 miles — but it ranks right up there!

Come on Bobbie you can break this….

Business Meeting @ Zoom Nov 17th 8PM

Members there will be a zoom business meeting this Tuesday evening at 8:00 PM.  All members should try to attend this meeting to to keep up on what is going on with the club.  Members request should goto Richie at n3sbf {at} comcast {dit} net.   Members will get the Zoom Invite in their email box tomorrow Monday Nov 16th.

Future members with pending applications with the Steel City ARC should send your email to Christine at N3LRG {at} W3KWH {dit} COM to get the email with the Zoom link it in.

See you all at 8:00 PM  Tuesday Evening