Sunday, November 18, 2012

Celebrating the End of the World #ARRL #hamradio

N0D - - Special Event Station celebrating The End of the world!

That’s right, the end is finally near. According to one of the three Mayan Calendars,
the End of the world will occur on Dec 21, 2012. To celebrate this literally once in a
lifetime event, Special Event Station N0D (Now Zero Days) will be activated on 10-80
meters and on several satellite passes for three days during and after(?) the end of the
world. December 20; is a celebration of the end of the world. December 21, the day of
destruction, we will be on the air as long as possible. December 22nd, that is a little iffy
right now.

Amateur radio stations around the crumbling globe are invited to contact N0D, who
will be operating from a secret, undisclosed location. Our operating schedule may
be a little erratic as destruction rains down upon us and as long as our antennas hold
out. Those of you who may be looking skyward for the end of the world, N0D will be
operating on several satellite passes.

This will provide cosmic, maybe even intergalactic coverage for the end of the world as
we know it. Thanks to Allen, our Doomsday press release has been picked up by the
Amsat News Service and will be carried in a future bulletin in about a week or so.

You can celebrate Doomsday by contacting N0D directly on the air. Amateurs can also
become an official Doomsday station by registering on our website. You will be given
a registration number and the authority to identify yourself as “Official Doomsday
Station” followed by your Doomsday number.

QSL with SASE to KK5W. If Doomsday actually does happen, we regret that a QSL will
not be possible so hold on to your SASE until the 22nd at least. Check out our website
for a preview of the N0D QSL card.

Amateurs can also become an official Doomsday station by registering on our website.
You will be given a registration number and the authority to identify yourself as “Official
Doomsday Station” followed by your Doomsday number. Official Doomsday stations
will receive the Doomsday Station Certificate.

It is not entirely clear exactly how it will happen. Will it be a cataclysmic shift in the
earth’s magnetic field, Global Warming on steroids, earthquakes, volcanoes floods,
global thermonuclear war, meteor collision, the 10 plagues of Egypt UFO invasion
who knows ? There are scientists, soothsayers and philosophers on both sides of the
question. Either way it will be an event worth remembering.. . .or maybe there will be
no one left to remember it?

More information is available on the Official N0D website,
You can also e-mail the N0D team at Check our website
for the latest updates.

*Editor's note:  In the mean time, Tweets, Facebook posts and Blog posts are scheduled well past the doomsday event.  Why?  Because the clock in the Back to the Future car was set past the date.

This is what your certificate will look like if you get one.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Skywarn Recognition Day

It is hard to believe but another SKYWARN Recognition Day is upon us. The following is the first in the series of updates on SKYWARN Recognition Day (SRD) 2012 and Echolink/IRLP operations. My apologies for the lateness in getting this first update out. The SRD event was confirmed in mid October and between that and Hurricane Sandy's impact on Southern New England and the New York City/Long Island/New Jersey area, this delayed getting this information out to you.

EchoLink and IRLP are just a couple of modes people can utilize to contact NWS offices during SKYWARN Recognition Day. Many NWS offices will be on 2 Meters, 440 MHz, HF and other VHF/UHF bands. Additional details on SKYWARN Recognition Day can be found via the following link:

As in past years, the EchoLink *WX_TALK* Node: 7203/IRLP reflector 9219 system will be scheduling time for NWS offices in 1-2 hour time slots to act as a net control to make contacts with spotters that are on the system. If a NWS office runs out of contacts and there are other NWS offices on the system, the NWS office acting as net control can turn it over to a different NWS office to act as a net control on the system at their discretion.

We'd like to ask NWS offices to do their best to adhere to the schedule. Sometimes this is difficult due to the number of contacts received by NWS offices. We ask for everyone's patience and working cooperatively to respect the time slot schedule.

Below is the SRD schedule from last year. We would like to know if NWS offices would like to keep their time slot or change time slots. A couple of NWS offices have already asked to keep their time slot. See the list of NWS offices below:

Time in UTC NWS Office Call-Sign
0000-0100: WX0GLD (Time slot from last year)
0100-0200: WX1GYX (Time slot from last year)
0200-0300: WX4MLB (Time slot from last year)
0300-0400: W0ABR  (Time slot from last year)
0400-0500: WX1BOX (Time slot from last year)
0500-0600: WX9GRB (Time slot from last year)
0600-0700: WX4HUN (Time slot from last year)
0700-0800: N0NWS  (Time slot from last year)
0800-0900: KL7FWX (Time slot from last year)
0900-1000: KL7FWX (Time slot from last year)
1000-1100: KL7FWX (Time slot from last year)
1100-1200: WX4HUN (Time slot from last year)
1200-1300: W7NWS  (Time slot from last year)
1300-1400: KL7FWX (Time slot from last year)
1400-1500: WX7SLC (Time slot from last year)
1500-1600: WX1BOX (Time slot from last year)
1600-1800: WX4NC  (Time slot from last year)
1800-1900: WX6MTR (Time slot from last year)
1900-2000: K0MPX  (Confirmed to keep the time slot)
2000-2100: WX4MLB (Time slot from last year)
2100-2300: WX4NHC (Time slot from last year)
2300-2400: WX6NWS (Time slot from last year)

There will be other conference systems utilized for SKYWARN Recognition Day. They are as follows:

The New England Reflector Gateway System will be utilized by the NWS Taunton, Mass. and NWS Gray, Maine offices from 0000-0500 UTC and 1200-2400 UTC. The New England Gateway system is on EchoLink Conference server *NEW-ENG* Node: 9123, IRLP reflector 9123. If other NWS offices would like to join the system, they are welcome to do so and participants in SKYWARN Recognition Day can also use that system to make contact with various NWS offices. This is a great place to move off the *WX_TALK* Node: 7203/IRLP 9219 system after your scheduled time if other Amateurs or NWS offices whish to make contact with you.

Also, the Western Reflector will be having NWS offices calling CQ as in past years on reflector 9250 and have its gateway system on IRLP 9258/EchoLink Conference *NV-GATE* Node: 125266 open for NWS offices. Please contact Kent-W7AOR for additional information on the Western Reflector.

A few technical reminders for folks interested in making contacts with the NWS Forecast Offices on the *WX-TALK* Node: 7203/IRLP 9219 and New England Reflector Gateway IRLP 9123/*NEW-ENG* Echolink Node: 9123 systems:

-The system allows both EchoLink and IRLP connections. For EchoLink users, you connect to the *WX-TALK* Node: 7203 conference system. For IRLP users, you would connect to IRLP reflector 9219.

-If you are using EchoLink, the RF node or PC that you’re using must have EchoLink conferencing disabled. If it is not disabled, the system will automatically kick the node or PC off of the system.

The reason this occurs is to prevent unintentional interference from a conferencing station that may not know the node is connected somewhere else. This will keep traffic moving on the net and reduce interference considerably.

For more information on VoIP Technical Configuration Tips, please go to our web site at where we have a link to that information on the main menu of the web site. This announcement will also be on the web site.

We are looking forward to another fun SKYWARN Recognition Day on the *WX-TALK* Node: 7203/IRLP reflector 9219 system, New England Reflector Gateway system and Western Reflector system. Thanks to all for their support!

Director of Operations for the VoIP Hurricane Net
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator for NWS Taunton Massachusetts
Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator

Friday, March 23, 2012

What are you doing different?

How many tornado deaths are there so far this year?

Are you getting three ways to get weather information?

Are you preparing a plan, in the event you can't stay at home?

How and what will you eat for the first 72 hours?

Are you going to be a survivor or a victim?

The choice is yours.

STA from KWNS gives up the numbers so far.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Google Alerts

Google Alerts page for FEMA Region VI is available.

This will be a good tool for emergency managers, Skywarn folks, Amateur Radio Emergency Services, and the public to get a big picture of what's happening.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Emergency Beacons

It does not take long monitoring
to determine who has an emergency and who does not.

When you Google and Emergency, you get this.

Once upon a time, MayDay and Pan were taught.  If you sent a MayDay signal falsely, it was bad.

Today, ... or false or deceptive messages, signals or identification is as close as we can get in Part 97 though the US Coast Guard and others still teach MayDay and mention the penalties for sending a false call.

For example:  San Diego man accused of false 'mayday' calls

Must there be emergency beacons on APRS?  Why YES, when there's an emergency.

Most of the beacons observed do not report distress, however.  Many messages to the beacon senders result in no reply.  Where they REALLY in distress?  Were they testing?

If it's the latter, there are other frequencies upon which to test.

If it's the former, answering inquiries as to the nature of the emergency and the level of help needed would be an important addition to Automatic Packet Reporting System operators.

In the mean time, save your emergency beacons for emergencies.

K4IP added these comments:

Who monitors APRS for "emergency beacons"?  I never even heard of those.

If someone wants to have piece of mind that a call for help will be heard, they need to invest in a PLB.  Boaters rely on EPIRBS and aviators rely on ELTs.  When used on 406.00 Mhz, there is a long network of SARSAT satellites tied into the Joint Rescue Coordination Center (formerly Air Force Rescue Coordination Center).  When notification criteria are met, JRCC makes the call to either USCG or an inland SAR agency to begin their electronic search.  I've seen this process work in as little as 60 minutes.  Even on the 'old' SARSAT frequency of 121.5 Mhz, airliners and military aircraft still monitor it and report any signals to ATC who reports to JRCC via the FCC in turn.  While there are testing procedures, many times these systems are used incorrectly or devices malfunction and notification is made to search for the offending device.  As far as I know, there is no provision for criminal action to be taken in the event of accidental or incorrect use of an emergency locator transmitter.  But there could be/should be.

Bottom line.  Unless I knew for sure someone was listening on the other side, an APRS distress signal, while an option, would be far from my first plan to be rescued.