delara newsDelaware Amateur Radio Association, Delaware OH VOL 37 NUMBER 1
More Ham Radio News
...because we don’t live in a vacuum.
The Grid! The Grid!
New Year's Day January 1 (UTC) marked the opening day for the ARRL International Grid Chase 2018 (IGC). Among those hitting their grids running was newly minted General-class operator Katie Thompsen, KI7HCX, of Mt. Vernon, Washington, who used the occasion to embark on the Chase and to get on HF for the first time using her own call sign. The 11-year-old comes from a ham radio family. Her dad, Todd, is W7TAO, while her older brothers are Mason, K7MWT, 15 -- who upgraded to Amateur Extra at the examination session where his sister upgraded to General -- and Tanner, K7TMT, 13.Katie Thompsen, KI7HCX. [Todd Thompsen, W7TAO, photo]"She called CQ Grid Square Chase on 20 meters and very quickly made 44 contacts," her dad told ARRL. "She was very excited to work her first pileup and even had two Japanese stations QSO with her. She's anxious to continue participating in the grid square chase." Todd Thompsen said all three young radio amateurs are looking forward to participating in Rookie Roundup in April.The IGC is off to a rousing start, with some 6,400 participants from around the globe already showing up on the Leader Board as of the morning of January 4. Point totals for the International Grid Chase are shown for confirmed contacts only, and, while the leader boards are not based on real-time data, they are updated several times a day. All contacts on all bands except 60 meters are valid for Grid Chase credit, provided both stations upload their logs to Logbook of The World (LoTW) and get a match.The objective of the year-long event is to work stations in as many different Maidenhead grid squares as possible, and then upload your logs to LoTW.Each new grid square contact confirmed through LoTW will count toward your monthly total. Stations do not have to exchange grid squares for a valid contact, although it's anticipated that many operators will do so. Some rare grid squares will be in demand. How about yours? Get on the air, and get behind your grid! If you can, get out there, and activate the scarce ones.Members of the Marconi Cape Cod Radio Club KM1CC at the Cape Cod National Seashore will activate rare grid square FN51 January 18-19 for the International Grid Chase.Complete details of the ARRL International Grid Chase 2018 appeared in the December 2017 issue of QST. For more information, contact the ARRL Contest Branch.-ARRL Letter
“Can’t See Me!”
Nathan "Chip" Cohen, W1YW, of Belmont, Massachusetts -- the founder of Fractal Antenna Systems Inc and inventor of the fractal antenna -- has been granted a patent for deflective electromagnetic shielding -- essentially "cloaking" technology to defend against detection by radar and similar technologies. "Ham radio experimentation can lead to some pretty cool innovations!" Cohen said in response to a recent QRZ forum post about the patent. "Let's keep that spirit alive in 2018."The patent covers electromagnetic cloaking/deflection of, among other things, satellites, rockets, towers, antennas, vehicles, body coverings, ships, spacecraft, and even people."Much time and effort has been devoted to the quest for so-called invisibility machines," the patent's background information states. "Beyond science fiction, however, there has been little, if any, real progress toward this goal."According to the detailed description, the technology "provides one or more surfaces that act or function as shielding and/or cloaking surfaces for which at least a portion of the surface includes or is composed of 'fractal cells' (small fractal shapes, functioning as antennas or resonators) placed sufficiently close to one another, so that current present in one fractal cell is replicated or reproduced to an extent in an adjacent fractal cell. Without being limited by any theoretical explanation, surface plasmonic waves are believed to cause such replication in conjunction with evanescent waves." The resulting surface would deflect around an object.In terms of backscatter, upon which radar systems depend, Cohen has explained it this way: "The incoming wave reflects off a boundary condition at the object. Its reflection is out of phase and phase-cancels with the incoming wave. Bye-bye, backscatter."Fractal Antenna Systems first publicly demonstrated "person invisibility" in 2012 for a Radio Club of America audience. He also has demonstrated invisibility cloaks at Hamvention® and at the ARRL New England Division Convention. According to the company's BusinessWire release, "Uses of the newly patented technology extend to commercial needs such as towers, antennas, people, and shielding, but it may also be used in defense and intelligence arenas."Not invisible: Chip Cohen, W1YW, holds his 5BDXCC plaque at ARRL Headquarters.The BusinessWire release said the technology "produces the desired effects without any requirements on special orientation, composition, or shape of the object. The cloak/deflector can be very thin, and the effect can happen over a wide bandwidth."The company noted that cloaking applications concentrate on microwave and infrared wavelengths, but the technology and patents also apply to visible light."Cloaking at visible light has limited needs," Cohen has said. "Camouflage and projection methods are easier and cheaper at making something disappear to the eye. But at radio and heat wavelengths, the cloaking technology is an important enabler."Cohen, 62, applied for the patent in 2012. An ARRL Life Member and active DXer, he has been a radio amateur for more than 50 years.-ARRL Letter