Single Sideband Association
Serving Amateur Radio since 1960
into the voice of the Association,
kHz at 2300Z
There's just a few weeks to the spring picnic! As always, it will be at the Indian Springs State Park, picnic shelter #4. The park is located on SR42 about 5 miles south of Jackson, Georgia. Bring a covered dish, and something for the charity auction that's always held right after lunch. The Association handles plates and utensils, but bring a chair. Good food and lots of family fun!
That's May 3rd, get there when you want in the morning, lunch is between 11:30 and noon.
History: A Century of Amateur Radio and the ARRL
In May 1945, the FCC announced its plan for the Amateur Radio bands when the war was over. Among other things the 2½ and 1¼ meter bands would be shifted to the frequencies they occupy today. In June, the FCC announced that it would delete the 5 meter band and replace it with 6 meters.
And then, the war was over! The documents were signed on August 14, 1945, to formally end hostilities. On August 15, ARRL asked the FCC to re-open the ham bands. The very next day, the FCC announced that the 112 MHz (2½ meter) band would be immediately opened for ham use. Slashing through miles of red tape, the band was opened on August 21. We were back on the air, even though it was on only one VHF band that would shortly become another!
Other bands were opened to ham operation as quickly as possible, but military communications first had to be moved away from the amateur bands. Making all those military frequency changes was not an easy task, but it was done as quickly as possible. After military circuits had been moved from a given ham band, the FCC would release it for ham use.
The 160 meter band remained closed to hams. During the war, a then-secret navigation system called LORAN (for "Long-Range Aid to Navigation") had been developed and placed in the 1.8 to 2.0 MHz band. After the war it continued to be widely used for maritime navigation. Hams eventually were allowed back on 160 -- at first with reduced power limits but ultimately, after LORAN went away, with normal power limits.
In another change that came with post-war Amateur Radio, the FCC rezoned the 48 states into 10 call areas, rather than the previous 9. New W0-prefix call signs started showing up on the air. Those were new licensees. Hams who had been living in the new 10th call area before the war could continue to use their W9-prefix call signs until renewal time, at which time their call signs were switched to the W0-prefix.
By early 1946, 10 meters
had been reopened for amateur use, and the ARRL threw a "Band-Warming
Party" in February and March 1946. The Band-Warming Party was a
worldwide QSO party, with both CW and phone operation. It was a nice
way to celebrate being back on the air!
Weather superfans: El Niño might be coming back. And this time, we could be in for a big one.
Official NOAA Climate Prediction Center estimates peg the odds of El Niños return at 50 percent, but many climate scientists think that is a lowball estimate. And there are several indications that if it materializes, this years El Niño could be massive, a lot like the 1997-98 event that was the strongest on record.
I think theres no doubt that theres an El Niño underway, said climate scientist Kevin Trenberth of the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research. The question is whether itll be a small or big one.
On top of some late-90s
nostalgia, a strong El Niño would bring pronounced changes to
weather patterns around the globe, and possibly relief from some of
the less-pleasant weather trends that have dominated headlines this
year. After a Polar Vortex-fueled, unbearably cold winter in the U.S.
Midwest and East Coast, a strong El Niño could bring warmer,
drier weather in late 2014. And to parched California and its prolonged
drought, El Niño might provide drenching rainstorms to fill up
reservoirs. But the news wont all be good. Rainstorms in California
could mean floods and mudslides and, coupled with climate change, El
Niño could bring harsher droughts to parts of Australia and Africa.
Beyond general outlines,
it can be tough to say exactly what will happen with El Niño,
so were going to break down some potential scenarios. El
Niño (Spanish for the Little One, a euphemism for
the Baby Jesus, as El Niño originates around Christmas) is a
recurring weather pattern affecting the world every two to seven years.
In the tropical Pacific Ocean, the trade winds typically blow east to
west, gathering warm water as they go and pooling it in the west. This
creates a temperature gradient with cold water in the east, near the
coast of South America, and warmer water southwest of Hawaii.
But at some point the system says, Theres too much warm water piling up here, Im going to have an El Niño, said Trenberth. The trade winds at this point usually weaken or even reverse entirely, moving warm water eastward. As it travels, this warm water starts emerging from deep in the ocean and heating up the atmosphere. These are the conditions that scientists are seeing right now. Moreover, the blob of warm water in the east is unusually large this year, leading many researchers to predict a monstrous El Niño is on its way.
The main question right now is if this entire warm-pool region will accelerate to the eastern basin or stick in the middle of the Pacific, said meteorologist Michael Ventrice of Weather Services International. If the warm water decides to stick around at the International Date Line or so, we will get what is called an El Niño Modoki (which is Japanese for similar, but different, a word that every language should really have). Cold water would remain in the eastern Pacific during El Niño Modoki, leading to less rainfall in California than during a strong El Niño. But scientists have only noticed El Niño Modokis events in a few recent years and they are not yet exactly sure what brings it about. Should the warm pool make it all the way to the South American coast, a much stronger full-basin El Niño will appear. And then we could be in for some big weather changes.
A strong El Niño could start affecting the world as early as the fall. The Pacific hurricane season, which gets active around September, is greatly enhanced during El Niño. This likely means more tropical thunderstorms that could affect eastern Pacific areas such as Mexico. In contrast, Atlantic hurricanes are suppressed, meaning fewer and less severe storms with a lower chance of making landfall and doing damage. The winter is when El Niño really gets going, though. Moisture flows from Hawaii to southern California in an atmospheric river colloquially known as the Pineapple Express. This creates heavy rainfall that dumps on the region. Though this could bring some relief from Californias drought, it also comes with the risk of flash floods and mudslides because the ground has been so hard and dry. El Niño has other effects further into North America. It tends to enhance the jet stream, creating a wall that prevents Arctic air (and the Polar Vortex) from dipping down to mid-latitudes. East Coast winters are generally drier and warmer during El Niño years, which is probably good news to those still smarting from this recent frigid season. The mild winter has interesting downstream effects, like a boost for the U.S. economy during the Christmas season. We saw a lot of retail sales go up in 1997, said Ventrice. People were going outside spending more money.
Other economic consequences arent as sanguine. A full-basin El Niño disrupts cycles of fish in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Many of these species are usually caught and ground up into fishmeal, which is fed to farm animals in the U.S. The increased price of fishmeal drives meat prices up as well. There is some indication that El Niño years coincide with stronger than average tornado seasons. Some of the worst years for tornadoes have occurred during what could be called Hall of Fame El Niño years such as 1982 and 1998. But the bottom line, said climate scientist Klaus Wolter of the University of Colorado, Boulder, is that its complicated. Tornadoes are caused by many different factors, and predicting what this years season will look like is difficult. There is another large-scale effect in the atmosphere that this years El Niño is likely to interact with, and that is climate change. The last large El Niño in 1997-98 occurred with lower levels of CO2 and things have changed in the intervening decade and a half. The Indian Ocean, for instance, has seen increased storm activity, which tends to detract from activity in the Pacific. How this all evolves is certainly worth watching, said Trenberth.
El Niño dries out places like India and Indonesia, causing a less severe monsoon. And it increases the risk of drought in places like Australia and Africa. With climate change, droughts have been growing more severe so this upcoming season could be a bad one. The end of El Niño also tends to heat up surface temperatures slightly, as the warm equatorial waters dump their energy into the atmosphere, the effects of which are usually felt approximately half a year later. The end of the last big El Niño was in 1998, the warmest year on record. Another temperature record holder is 2005, which followed an El Niño year.
Theres a big chance that in 2015 there is going to be a bump in the global temperature, said Klaus Wolter. Finally, though a strong El Niño is looking ever more likely, it is far from a done deal. In 2012, a big El Niño appeared to be building up and ended up crashing before it got too far along. But if conditions remain as they are right now, by June researchers will know that El Niño is on its way.
Planned with Huntsville Hamfest, Alabama in August
The 2014 GAREC conference will focus on the application of advanced technologies in emergency and disaster response communications. Experts will meet and discuss local, regional and global activities, operations, lessons learned and explore better, new ways of coordination and communications in times of emergency. All Amateur Radio operators and professionals alike are invited to attend!
The 2007 GAREC was held in Huntsville. Radio amateurs from all over the world attended both the conference and the Huntsville Hamfest. Many bonds were formed and communications on a regional and global level were discussed.
For speaker and presenter information, contact Hans Zimmermann, F5VKP/HB9AQS, IARU International Coordinator for Emergency Communications. For registration and all GAREC 2014 information, click here.
Georgia Cracker Radio Club Newsletters from the past Provided by WA4IQU and ND4XE
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