Of The Year
In conjunction with the upcoming Stone Mountain Hamfest the first weekend
in November, the GSSA will be announcing the award of Amateur of the
Year. Any voting member of the association can nominate a ham for the
award, and that ham doesn't have to be an association member.
To nominate someone, contact any officer or board member of the association
(listed at left under officers/ net info) and tell a little why you
think that ham should be the GSSA Amateur of the Year. It will be presented
at the hamfest.
By the way, the GSSA "sit and relax" table will be in the
main exhibition hall, just past the kitchen on the right. Look in this
diagram for "A7". There will be a GSSA banner up.
Time Change November 2nd Means Net Time Change
As we have for a long time, the GSSA Net time will roll back to 6 PM
(2300Z) with the time change on November 2nd. The Sunday of the Stone
Mountain Hamfest weekend the net will be at 6 PM until next March.
A Century of Amateur Radio and the ARRL
The October 1990 QST reported on the 3Y5X Bouvet Island DXpedition
of 1989-1990. This $330,000 venture -- funded by the participants and
by donations from hams around the world -- produced nearly 50,000 contacts
on all HF bands on SSB, CW, and RTTY.
The first World Radiosport Team Championship was held in Seattle in
1990, as part of the International Goodwill Exchange Event.
Marking the 75th anniversary of QST, the magazine's December 1990 issue
published an overview of those 75 years, written by WJ1Z. The article
noted that at the time the first issue of QST was published, the League's
membership was 635.
On October 28, 1990, W5UN worked his 100th country via EME (moonbounce).
Not content to rest on his laurels, by November 4 he was up to 104 countries.
Dave might have made EME DXCC earlier, had it not been for a tornado
that wrecked his first 32 dBi-gain moonbounce array.
The FCC instituted the new "codeless" Technician license on
Valentine's Day 1991. Within the first two weeks, 313 people had applied,
and the first such license was issued to N3IFY.
An interesting airplane accident story was published in March 1991 QST.
Gary, V31KX, was aboard a flight in Belize that went down on November
14, 1990. After the forced landing, Gary retrieved his 2 meter handheld
from his luggage, connected it to the aircraft's 121 MHz antenna and
made a successful call for help.
Operation Desert Storm began
in 1990, and MARS stations were activated to handle personal messages,
including phone patches, between members of the military and their families
back home -- a major morale-booster. Those efforts of American amateurs
operating under their counterpart MARS call signs generated a great
amount of positive publicity for Amateur Radio.
The May 1991 QST article, "Last Voice from Kuwait," told how
Abdul, 9K2DZ, hid his amateur gear from Iraqi soldiers when they came
to confiscate it. When they demanded his radio equipment, he gave them
a broken radio! After that, he used AMTOR and APLINK to handle health-and-welfare
messages in and out of Kuwait. Many of Abdul's messages were forwarded
to the media, Department of Defense, Department of State, and the White
House. Again, good reviews for Amateur Radio.
During 1991, many hams made contact with the Soviet Mir space station,
thanks to the efforts of operator Musa, UV3AM. Another Amateur Radio
first occurred in 1991: The entire crew of the space shuttle Atlantis
on its STS-37 mission (April 5-11, 1991) was comprised of hams, and
Space Amateur Radio EXperiment (SAREX) ham gear was aboard.
-- Al Brogdon, W1AB
Did you get behind on these? Want to catch up? Read the entire series
less the current one above here.
No Easy Answers
for RadioShack's Slow, Downward Slide
Back in the day, RadioShack employees would answer the phone by saying,
"You've got questions, we've got answers." But RadioShack
now seems stumped, and the "B" word is looming ever larger
as the retailer -- once the go-to place for electronic components and,
at one point, even some Amateur Radio gear and shortwave receivers --
casts about for a white knight. Last March, in the wake of a substantial
drop in holiday sales and a big fourth-quarter loss, the Fort Worth,
Texas-based RadioShack announced plans to close 1100 of its outlets,
leaving the chain with 4000 stores, including more than 900 dealer franchises.
The company's second-quarter 2014 report has been deemed "dismal"
by investment advisors.
According to CNNMoney, though,
the retailer has been able to shutter only 200 of those shops -- because
it costs a lot of money even to close locations, and RadioShack has
none to spare. It's already bleeding cash -- some $149 million just
this year --in its struggle to board up unprofitable locations and keep
its head above the rising waters, and, as CNNMoney reported, credit
rating agency Moody's expects the company's bank account to run dry
within another 12 months. One Wall Street analyst already has warned
of impending bankruptcy, and Forbes.com reported last week that the
retailer itself has confirmed the likelihood of a Chapter 7 or Chapter
11 bankruptcy filing, if it cannot find a buyer or restructure its debt.
RadioShack CEO Joseph Magnacca
said in a statement on September 11 that while the company was making
progress in its turn-around efforts, "we are actively exploring
options for overhauling our balance sheet and are in advanced discussions
with a number of parties."
A filing the retailer submitted
to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) this week was far more
blunt. In short, it said that if RadioShack cannot sell the firm, partner
with another company, or restructure its debt, "we may not have
enough cash and working capital to fund our operations beyond the very
near term, which raises substantial doubt about our ability to continue
as a going concern." And if Plan A does not work out, the retailer
told the SEC, "we would likely be required to liquidate under Chapter
7 of the Bankruptcy Code."
Tim Allen = Radio Amateur (For Real)
In a particularly delicious twist of Life Imitating Art, comedian Tim
Allen, star of the ABC hit television series, "Last Man Standing,"
has earned his Amateur Radio ticket, KK6OTD. Tim joins nearly 2 dozen
show production and crew members who have become Amateurs in real life
as a result of regular exposure to authentic equipment on the stage
set and devilishly hilarious ham radio story lines that find their way
into the script by brilliant writers.
Amateurs who are already loyal fans of the show are delighted to welcome
Tim into the ranks of the Amateur fraternity, where he joins a growing
list of entertainers, heads of state, industry pioneers, and others
of great notoriety.
Congratulations, Tim, and see you on the radio.
the new Buzzard Roost Certificate
The "Buzzard Roost", an "educational"
gathering....not a net!.... convenes on 3975 kHz at 2400 UTC
on Monday nights. They have decided to issue a certificate
to folks brave enough to check in!