Calling CQ

Issue 105 | September 11, 2017

NEVER FORGET - Monday is the anniversary observance of the most deadly terror attack on U.S. soil, when two hijacked planes were flown into the Twin Towers and caused their collapse. Two other planes were hijacked — one flown into the Pentagon near Washington D.C. and another crashed into a Pennsylvania field. Family members will again recite the names of 2,983 people, including those who died at the three sites, and in the World Trade Center bombing in 1993.

Operating Procedures During Hurricane Irma - by the time you read this, Hurricane Irma will be fading from view but the clean-up and recovery operation will continue. And hurricane season isn’t over, there’s more to come. Be prepared, be vigilant, be safe.

The Communication Experts - “The great thing about a hobby like ours is that there is so much diversity that you can pick whatever niche suits you. From a public perspective, though, there is one branding message that should unite us all: We are the Communication Experts.” (W9WSW)

Route 66 On the Air - I apologize for not mentioning this special event last week. It started a few days ago (September 9–17) and will continue for the next several days. Stations all along historic US Highway 66 are on the air sharing the magic and the nostalgia from the Mother Road, how many of them have you worked? Get on the air and get your kicks on Route 66.

Old Sol Acting Up - weather in the Atlantic was churned by consecutive storms last week but the weather in space was a big story too. Strong geomagnetic storms from September 7th through the 9th were triggered by earlier coronal mass ejections, one of the them the strongest in more than a decade. Effects from the auroral events spawned by these solar storms were noted on the radio and the heavens above.

The Great American Eclipse: Virginia Tech researcher grapples with a year’s worth of data - Stationed in an empty field at Shaw Air Force Base near Sumter, South Carolina, Virginia Tech electrical engineering professor Greg Earle and his team waited for the total solar eclipse of 2017. Rather than traveling toward the path of totality to see one of “nature’s most awe-inspiring sights,” Earle prepared to put his three-year-old hypothesis on radio propagation to the test.

Ten More Clicks


A solar storm wiped out HF communication for several hours last week. What were the chances that such an event would align with a massive hurricane tearing through the Caribbean?

Good thing we have the Internet.

Yes. It’s been ham radio’s best ally in our quest to maintain essential links when all else fails. And that’s why we need to dispatch with the notion that blending radio and the Internet is a bad thing. Making use of all available technology to extend the reach of amateur radio just makes sense.

Were the first hams to make use of transistors told “that’s not real radio” because they didn’t use vacuum tubes? Probably not, besides, ham radio might be non-existent by now had it not been for the Internet.

It is, after all, our primary means of promotion and the way we disseminate information about everything we do. That might not seem like added value to some folks but consider the following from somewhere back in our long ago…

Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7th, 1941 and the next day the amateur radio service in the United States was suspended for the duration of World War II. Due to its publishing schedule, the December 1941 edition of QST magazine had been mailed days before the bombs fell on Pearl Harbor.

The January 1942 edition had already been sent to the printer and its mailing had to be delayed while the special news about the war-time shutdown was rushed to press.

It wouldn’t be until the February 1942 issue of QST Magazine, three months after the US entry in the War, before the League had sufficient information, and a publishing opportunity, to detail how the amateur service would proceed under such difficult circumstances.

QST Executive Editor KB Warner opened his editorial with this:

“There have been many time in the last two years that we wished QST were a daily newspaper so that we could send to you fellows the day-to-day news while it is hot. We have particularly wished this during the rapid developments of these past few weeks. There is quite a lot to tell you about, some brand new and some in recapitulation. Because things happen rapidly these days, you should supplement this information with the nightly messages from W1AW and the latest bulletins received by your director, SCM, and Emergency Coordinator or by your radio store”.

I don’t know what K.B. Warner would have thought about our ability to instantly update the fraternity with the latest news and information via the Internet, but I’m guessing he would have considered it a highly valuable tool in this Second Century of Radio.

Make it a GREAT week!

73, Jeff

The saddest two words seen in a QRZ bio: “No LoTW”