delara news Delaware Amateur Radio Association, Delaware OH   VOL 37 NUMBER 1

Ohio Section News

Scott Yonaly, N8SY Ohio Section Manager I’ve gotten a lot questions from all of you about our Tiered system and those that have completed your 4 NIMS courses (IS 100, 200, 700 & 800), is there a certificate for getting these courses in and completed and entered into our statewide database. I now can say YES, there is. Go to http://arrl- ohio.org/SEC/Tier-I-Form.html and fill in your name and call sign and I’ll email you back a really neat looking certificate that shows you are an Ohio ARES TIER I member. It’s frameable and, since it will come to you electronically, if you have a smartphone you can download it into your smartphone and keep it with you wherever you go. Now I do want to tell you all that this is for the Tier I membership only. Your application for the certificate will be checked against the statewide database. I hope that this will help entice all of you Tier II members to get those courses completed and the certificates to me and to your Emergency Coordinator. I’ve already sent out over 100 of the certificates to date. Like most of our forms that you fill out, you will get a copy of the form emailed back to you as a receipt that it did get into the system, so PLEASE make sure that you type your email correctly so that it won’t go to cyberspace! Oh, just one more thing, if you didn’t know, we set 625 as the next goal for me to give out another ARRL ARES Vest. Just so you know, we are getting really, really close to that magic number. So, if you haven’t given me your certificates yet, you could be that very lucky person that receives that vest!! Are you sure that you are on the list? Make sure, here’s the link to the listing: http://arrl- ohio.org/SEC/special/ICS%20Complete%20by%20County%20and %20Name.pdf  OHIO DMR NET A suggestion came in during one of the Ohio DMR Nets several weeks ago from Zeke, AB8OU and I thought that I would try out what his suggestion was on you in this edition. The suggestion was to report on how many folk’s check-in, and from which districts they are checking in from. I had to think about just how we would report it and I decided to try this format out to see if it makes sense and is of any value to our readership. Ok, here goes.. December 13 DMR Net District 1 – 5 District 5 – 8 District 9 – 6 Total: 60 District 2 – 2 District 6 – 9 District 10 – 3 District 3 – 0 District 7 – 10 Time: 37 minutes District 4 – 3 District 8 – 7 Out of State – 7 TX, MN, MT, MI, CN, CA, NC It seems that District 7 won the prize for the night with 10 check- ins. There were several net announcements given after all the check-ins were established. Lastly, thanks to Greg, WD9FTZ for gathering the following information, as of December 13 there are 79,352 DMR ID's, including 1,810 from Ohio. Now as Greg explains, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Ohio has 1810 users since some folks do hold more than 1 DMR ID. The reason for conducting this net every week is to make sure that all of our connections to the now 75 repeaters throughout the state are working as we want them to be. Sometimes things don’t always work as we expect them to, and testing this system, and ourselves each week gives us the ability to better understand what can happen during any emergency situation, and a better understand of how to work around any discrepancies that may occur before the emergency happens. Come join in on the fun every Wednesday evening at 8:30pm local on the DMR - 3139 talk group!

Section training Coordinator

Jim Yoder, W8ERW Thinking of 2018 seems strange. Perhaps being born in 1949 and living most of my life prior to this century has biased me a bit. I remember AM before SSB. The change caused Hams to refit their stations with the new technology and more than a few were not happy. Now we have digital modes. Reel to Reel tape recorders too, before 8 track and cassette tapes were the rave of their day as were vinyl records before CD’s and DVD’s. Cars had 6 volt batteries and the milk was delivered and placed in an insulated box on the front porch. The paper boy delivered the news on his bicycle and came to collect, punching that card with your name on it which hung on a ring with the others in the neighborhood. I could continue with this, but no doubt you like me have seen these reminiscent lists before. We can’t go back to those times and in many ways, although it is hard to admit, we’d not be happy losing all the technological changes that we now enjoy. We old timers enjoy the thought of it though. Technology is not bad and indeed it often saves money and resources, is far superior to what we gave up and it propels us all into the future. That may well be the scary part. We as Hams often lead the charge however and many advances in technology came directly from our creative efforts in the shack. So what are you going to jump into this next year? DMR perhaps, MESH Networking, HF Digital or maybe the guy in the red suit has a new rig to deliver for your shack. Are you a Leftie? SM Yonally and I are and after wondering how many of our Ohio Hams might be, I mentioned my curiosity to Scott and he posed the question in the survey section of the arrlohio.org web page. It seems to me that as Hams, we are a curious lot, often a bit creative and interested in new ideas, concepts and certainly technology. All of which are attributes often ascribed to Lefties. So, I wondered, are more of us left handed than the incidence of the general population would indicate? The survey question has now changed, but the last time I looked at the numbers, Lefties were running over 17%. It is generally thought that within the population at large, Lefties make up about 10%. Now the survey was not done scientifically and the results are not going to lead us to any great revelations. But perhaps, there are more Ham Lefties as those numbers seem to show. Many of the common traits that are thought to go with left handedness have not been borne out by the studies that have been done. We are not prone to an earlier death than right handed people. Premature birth does seem to correlate with being left handed however as does a greater incidence among males than females. One study I looked at said that college educated Lefties make 15-18% more income than the same right-handed people. As for motor skills, in all of us, our right side is controlled by our left side of the brain and the left side is controlled by the right side. In Lefties, that is reversed. Lefties also process thoughts differently. We tend to take a broader more inclusive look at concepts and problems. We can often be skilled in Math and Music. Could that mean being better at CW? One study looked at professional musicians who were part of an orchestra and a much higher incidence of Left handedness was found. All in all, nothing earth shattering here, but a little interesting at least. For me, this keyboard and MS word area blessing, else my sloppy left-handed penmanship would likely prevent most of you from deciphering what I am writing this evening. This last month represented a milestone for ARES training. Our 600th member to complete NIMS training was entered into the database late in November. SM Yonally, N8SY thought we should celebrate and Troy Blair KE8DRR from Huron County will receive a Safety Vest to recognize the achievement. But we don’t want to slow down. Scott says there will be more to come in order to encourage everyone to get those FEMA courses completed. Currently we have just under 630 who have completed the four required NIMS courses and a whopping total of 5,584 courses have been taken by Ohio Amateurs. It is still very early in the month of December as I write this and I expect those numbers will increase during the next few weeks until the end of the year. It has been a truly outstanding year for ARES training and it is rewarding for me to see this all happening. I have mentioned before that several of you have taken many more than the four required courses. Employment in public service usually dictates more of this training. I think today rang the bell with the most classes taken by any single ARES member. I won’t mention a name, but I logged 131 classes for one Ham in Franklin County. That was a lot of keying this afternoon, but I am happy to do so and if you take all those classes, I will gladly get them entered for you. When you complete the NIMS training, please let your local Emergency Coordinator know and follow your local procedure to report them to me. I can accept them directly from you. Your EC and SEC Stan Broadway N8BHL also forward them to me as does SM Scott Yonally N8SY. We do need them in the database however  along with a copy of your certificate(s) or a transcript from FEMA that you can request from them. My email is w8erw5574@gmail.com or w8erw@arrl.net will get them to me. For DEC’s and EC’s, there are several reports that can be generated and sent to you from the database. I would be happy to provide these for you. Sometimes it is good to verify what you have with what I have recorded in the database. Please let me know if I can help you.

Section Traffic Manager

Dave Maynard, WA3EZN With the holiday season here, a reminder that the traffic nets meet 7 days a week and 365 days a year. Here is were you will find the nets. Ohio Section Traffic Nets SSB Ohio Single Sideband Net (OSSBN), 10:30 AM, 4:15 PM. and 6:45 PM daily, 3.972.50 MHz, KC8WH manager http://ossbn.org/traffic_nets.html CW Buckeye Net (Early), BN-E, 6:45 PM daily, 3.580 MHz, WB8YLO manager Buckeye Net (Late), BN-L, 10:00 PM daily, 3.590 MHz, WB9LBI manager Ohio Slow Net (OSN), 6:00 PM daily, 3.53535 MHz, W8OLO manager Have you tried checking into or listen to the 6:45 Ohio Single Sideband Net (OSSBN) and heard nothing? I can guarantee the net was there but you just couldn't hear it or maybe you heard one or two weak stations and not the net control. Well, it was not you radio that was at fault. Since the time change from Daylight Savings to Eastern time things have changed. Is the sun responsible for these poor conditions? I didn't know so I asked the professor for an explanation. First, let me state that the interactions between the Sun and our Earth are incredibly complex. Even scientists who have studied the subject for years do not completely understand everything that happens on the Sun. I will try to give you some general background information about how the Sun affects radio propagation here on Earth. It seems that higher sunspot numbers generally indicate a greater probability of good propagation at higher frequencies. HF propagation is done through bouncing signals off of charged particles in the earth's atmosphere. High sunspot numbers indicate higher activity in the sun, which shoots off energy into the earth's atmosphere, charging more particles that increases the amount of reflected power on the atmosphere, increasing received signal. So what's up? RADIO WAVE PROPAGATION When the sun releases solar flares a large amount of energy and radiation are released. RF energy, including ultraviolet and x-ray radiation, travels out from the sun at the speed of light. It takes about 8 minutes for this radiation to reach the earth. These large bursts of radiated energy cause the sudden increase of ionization in the ionospheric layers of earths atmosphere. These are known as Sudden Ionospheric Disturbances. During daylight hours, this can really change the way transmitted radio signals are received. It can be wonderful for distant communications using the upper F layers of the atmosphere, where the layer is excited and can better support longer angle signals. However, on the lower regions of the atmosphere, especially that "Daylight Dud" D-layer, this ionization causes greater absorption and disruption of radio signals more than those on higher frequencies. This could explain why suddenly short-range  communications (Ohio to Ohio stations) is nearly impossible but stations in Florida and Iowa offer their services to relay for station in Ohio. 1. Solar Flares Solar flares are cataclysmic eruptions that suddenly release huge amounts of energy, including sustained, high-energy bursts of radiation from VLF to X-ray frequencies and vast amounts of solar material. Most solar flares occur around the peak of the 11-year solar cycle. The first earthly indication of a huge flare is often a visible brightness near a sunspot group, along with increases in UV and X-ray radiation and VHF radio noise. If the geometry between the Sun and Earth is right, intense X-ray radiation takes eight minutes to travel the 93 million miles to Earth at the speed of light. SOLAR FLAIR The sudden increase in X-ray energy from a large flare can immediately increase RF absorption in the Earth's lowest ionospheric layers, sometimes causing a phenomenon known as a Sudden Ionospheric Disturbance (SID). An SID affects all HF communication on the sunlit side of the Earth and signals in the 2 to 30-MHz range may disappear entirely. Even background noise may cease in extreme cases. When you experience a big SID, your first inclination may be to look outside to see if your antenna fell down! SIDs may last up to an hour before ionospheric conditions temporarily return to normal. Typically, several hours after a flare erupts at the Sun, particles begin to arrive at the Earth in the form of a plasma, a highly ionized gas made up of electrons, protons and neutral particles, traveling at speeds up to 300 miles per second. This may interact violently with the Earth's magnetic field. Really high-energy protons may even disable satellites orbiting high above the atmosphere. Another possible effect of a high-energy particle bombardment during a flare may be high absorption of HF signals propagating through the polar regions. This is called a Polar Cap Absorption (PCA) event and it may last for several days. Approximately how long does it take the increased ultraviolet and X-ray radiation from solar flares to affect radio propagation on the Earth? RF energy waves, such as ultraviolet and X-ray radiation, travel at the speed of light (approx. 300 million meters per second, or approx. 186,000 miles per second). The earth is about 93 million miles from the sun, and so it takes just over 8 minutes, on average, for a burst of radiation from solar flares to affect radio-wave propagation on earth. What is the solar flux index? Measuring solar flux is another way of expressing the amount of solar activity. The solar flux is the intensity of the sun's RF energy emissions. The Solar flux index is a standardized representative of this radiation energy which is measured at a fixed value of 2800 MHz frequency (10.7 cm wavelength). The advantage of this measurement over the sunspot index, is that it can be measured during any weather conditions - the sun doesn't have to be visible. The higher the solar flux index number, the greater the amount of solar activity indicated. SUN SPOTS One of the best-known gauges of overall solar activity is the number of sunspots seen on the Sun's surface. Sunspots are relatively cool areas that appear as dark spots. (CAUTION: Do not look at the Sun with the naked eye or a telescope; you could permanently damage your eyes.) Surprisingly, sunspots are not really dark, but appear so only because the surrounding surface is even hotter and brighter. A large sunspot can be up to 80,000 miles in diameter. Systematic study of solar activity began around 1750. Long-term sunspot activity varies in cycles. On average, the number of sunspots reaches a maximum every 11 years, but the period has varied from 7 to 17 years. The first cycle to be completely and scientifically observed began in 1755; we know it as Cycle 1. We are now just starting Cycle 23. Solar activity also follows a 27-day cycle: the sun's rotational period. Sunspot activity changes continuously. A sunspot can vary in size and appearance, or even vanish, within a single day. Large areas of sunspot activity usually last through several rotations of the Sun, some as long as two years. To offset the confusing effects of short-term changes, we average (or smooth) solar data. HF propagation predictions commonly use Smoothed Sunspot Numbers (SSN), which are monthly sunspot counts averaged over a 12-month period. Solar-flux readings are another measure of solar activity. The average intensity of solar emissions also varies slowly over the 11-year solar cycle. A solar flux reading is a measure of power received, per unit area, per unit frequency. The Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory in Penticton, British Columbia, measures 2800- MHz (10.7-cm) solar-flux data daily at local noon. Solar flux correlates well with the intensity of ionizing UV and X-ray radiation. Smoothed Sunspot Numbers range from 0 to over 200 and solar-flux numbers range from 60 to 300. There are many sources for numbers related to propagation: 1) National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) stations WWV and WWVH broadcast propagation information on 2.5, 5, 10, 15 and 20 MHz (WWV only) at 18 and 45 minutes past each hour, respectively. 2) The NIST in Boulder provides a telephone voice recording of the WWV/WWVH propagation message at 303-497-3235. There's also a continuous audio rebroadcast at 303-499-7111 (Colorado) and 808-335- 4363 (Hawaii). NOAA provides the WWV solar-terrestrial data via several on-line services Gopher service is available by telephone bulletin board (303-497-7788; up to 28.8 kbps; login: gopher), telnet (telnet gopher.sec.noaa.gov; login: gopher) and the World Wide Web (http://www.sec.noaa.gov/. Files are available by FTP at ftp.sec.noaa.gov 3) When time permits, W1AW broadcasts a weekly propagation forecast as part of the normal, daily bulletins. The W1AW schedule appears monthly in QST. 4) Local PacketClusters. Use the command SH/WWV/n, where n is the number of spots you wish to see (five is the default). 5) There are numerous sources for solar and propagation data and information on the World Wide Web. (A search for WWV yielded several hundred hits.) HF propagation is a complicated, fascinating topic. To further your knowledge of the ionosphere and solarterrestrial interactions, I highly recommend a book called Radio Amateur's Guide to the Ionosphere, by Leo F. McNamara. Summary The sunspot activity is of great importance to anyone involved in HF radio communications. Whether two way radio communications, maritime mobile communications, general mobile communications, point to point radio links, amateur radio communications, or whatever form of radio communications. The level of sunspot activity has an enormous effect on the ionosphere and hence on HF radio propagation conditions. Accordingly even a superficial understanding is advantageous. I am by no means an expert or even well informed on this subject but have tried to give you some information to get you started.

Section Educational Outreach

Anthony Luscre, K8ZT This month I have a last minute, free, holiday present for you to share with kids in your life. The Kids Radio Zone is part of my collection of web pages for use by teachers and students. Hopefully you can spend some time in person with the kids you share this with but it is still very usable for family and friends afar. If it all seems a little overwhelming just pick one section to get started. I will draw your attention to a few sections I have found interesting to students I work with: ● The Zack & Max Comic Books ● The Morse Code section ● The Space & Satellite Tracking section ● The Online SDRs you can use to tune the bands without owning an antenna or even a radio. The link to share is www.ztlearn.com/radio-kids Until next month I wish you success demonstrating Amateur Radio to a student and/or non-ham!
© DELARA News, the official monthly newsletter of the Delaware Amateur Radio Association, Delaware, OH