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FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 Overhauls Marking Requirements for Short Rural Towers


Thanks to ARRL efforts on Capitol Hill, language in the 2018 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act, just signed by President Donald Trump, resolves the issue of problematic or preclusive rules affecting some rural Amateur Radio towers. The previous FAA Reauthorization Act of 2016 had instructed the FAA to enact tower-marking requirements, similar to those in some state statutes, aimed at improving aircraft safety in the vicinity of meteorological evaluation towers (METs). These towers are typically between 50 and 200 feet and set up in rural areas, often on short notice.

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New ham radio satellite forum aims to help newcomers

AMSAT-DL President Peter Gülzow DB2OS reports on a new amateur radio satellite forum that aims to help newcomers become active on the satellites

On the AMSAT Bulletin board (AMSAT-BB) he writes:

We have set up a new online forum at https://forum.amsat-dl.org/

Especially with the upcoming launch of P4-A/Es'hail-2 we want to offer a forum for extensive discussions.

From our friends at Southgate Amateur Radio News, see their full story and link’s at:



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Ham Talk Live! Portable Satellite Operation

In episode 135 of the Ham Talk Live! show Patrick Stoddard WD9EWK/VA7EWK answered questions about operating amateur radio satellites on the road.

Listen to the show at:

Remembering the Launch of Sputnik 1 — Earth’s First Artificial Satellite


October 4 marks the 61st anniversary of the launch by the Soviet Union of Sputnik 1, Earth’s first artificial satellite. The Soviets heralded the launch as a national triumph, and the space race between the USSR and the US began.

Sputnik 1 was a 58-centimeter diameter, polished aluminum sphere sprouting four antennas and transmitting a 1 W signal on 20.005 and 40.002 MHz, putting it within the range of nearly any radio amateur. Orbiting the planet about once every 96 minutes, Sputnik 1 could be seen from Earth. Following the launch, the US National Institute of Standards and Technology’s HF radio station WWV even halted its nighttime 20 MHz transmissions to avoid interfering with the satellite’s signal.

Scientists studying it gained information about such things as the density of the upper atmosphere, deduced from orbital drag. The propagation of its signals also helped to better understand the ionosphere. The US launched its first artificial Earth satellite, Explorer 1, on January 31, 1958. 

Source: http://www.arrl.org/news/view/remembering-the-launch-of-sputnik-1-earth-s-first-artificial-satellite

“Black Swan 18” Exercise to Test US Government/Amateur Radio Interoperability on 60 Meters


“Black Swan 18” is a communications exercise aiming to test how well responders, emergency management agencies, and non-government organizations (NGOs) activate, operate, and complete communication missions, specifically in terms of the volume, accuracy, and speed of radio traffic. The scenario for the October 4 – 10 Black Swan 18 will be a series of winter storms and associated events. ARRL Field Organization teams have been invited to adapt this activity as the basis of their annual Simulated Emergency Test (SET). Operational periods by participating organizations should not exceed 48 hours.

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20 March 2023