Saturday, January 30, 2016

APRS Tool for #Skywarn folks #ARRL #hamradio

I am in the process of working on a program which provides a US Weather forecast 
via APRS message. I have most of the kinks worked out and it is ready for testing
by a larger group.

Send a single character APRS message to KI6WJP and the program will respond with a 
brief forecast for your location.

You can specify "where" and "when" you want the forecast.  If you wish a full forecast
add the word "full" to your "where" and "when".  The full forecast is spread across
multiple APRS message.  The default "brief" forecast usually fits within a single

"where" is any APRS callsign/object, zipcode, grid, or decimal lat/lon as long as it is 
located in a place covered by the US National Weather Service.

"when" is any day of the week with optional night.  I.e. Wednesday night

The forecast is derived from the US National Weather Service point forecast.
Usually the forecast is produced within 1 or 2 seconds, but during periods of
heavy activity, the weather service can take 20 or 30 seconds.

The latitude/longitude for the requested object is extracted from,  
As a result, anything that appears on is valid including 
CWOP stations and AIS ships.

Here are some example forecast requests that can be sent to KI6WJP:

Any message less than 3 characters
    Returns a brief forecast for the current location of the sending station.
Tomorrow 96067
    Returns  tomorrow's forecast for Mount Shasta, CA
    Returns the forecast for tonight at your current location
Tuesday night full
    Returns the Tuesday night full forecast at your current location.
    Returns the current forecast for the location of station W1AW
usna-1 Sunday
    Returns the forecast for the Army Navy football game on Sunday. 
    (Assuming usna-1 is at the stadium)
    Returns the forecast for the center of maidenhead grid CN81uh
    Returns the forecast for the summit of Mount Whitney.

Currently the program is running on a raspberry Pi on a home dsl internet connection.
The program is single threaded and can handle a single forecast request at a time.
Things are still in development and may break at any time.  

Obviously for this to work via RF, a transmit capable i-gate is necessary.

Many thanks to Heikki for Ham::APRS::IS, Ham::APRS::FAP and that made
this easy.

For more information see:

Thanks to Martin, KI6WJP on the APRS reflector for this information

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

National Parks on the Air - 2016 #ARRL #hamradio #tweko

ARRL announced an exciting new on-the-air program for next year, 2016.  It is “National Parks on the Air”  (NPOTA).

Please read the ARRL Web news page article that introduces this year-long event starting January 1, 2016.

Throughout 2016, Amateur Radio will be helping the National Park Service celebrate their 100th anniversary. Hams from across the country will activate NPS units, promote the National Park Service and showcase Amateur Radio to the public.

More details and information can be found at this ARRL Web page link:

Thanks to Steve, WV1X for this information

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Is your Net listed? #ARRL #hamradio

Net Name     Frequency      Local Days     Local Time

Arkansas/Oklahoma Salvation Army Net  146.82 -
145.07 packet Meets on the Second Sunday

8:00 AM Oklahoma ARES Training Net 7.26 Meets Sunday at 3:30 PM

Oklahoma CW Emergency Net  3.552  as needed

Oklahoma DX Association Net  3.86 Sunday at 9 a.m.

Oklahoma Insomnia Net    147.15 + (136.5)  Daily at 10:30 PM

Oklahoma Phone Emergency Net   3.903  Sunday at 8 a.m.

Oklahoma Section Net (CW)         3.552    Daily at 6:30 p.m.

Oklahoma Section Net (CW) - Late Net   3.552  Daily at 10:30 p.m.

Oklahoma Traffic & Weather Net    3.9   Monday through Saturday at 5 p.m.

Oklahoma Training Net (CW)        7.12065  Daily at 5:45 PM

Sooner Traffic Net                        3.845  Meets on M, T, W, Th, F, S5:30 PM

Oklahoma APRS Net                   144.39   Meets on the Second Saturday of the month

Oklahoma VOIP Net            147.51   Meetings Monday at 9:15 PM on IRLP 9219 and Echolink 7203

Please update your net with the American Radio Relay League

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

ARRL Winter Board Meeting announced #ARRL #hamradio

Here's the latest from Dr. Woolweaver, K5RAV

---ARRL Winter Board Meeting
---ARRL Foundation Scholarship Program
---H.R. 1301 and S. 1685 Advance in Congress
---Annual West Gulf Division Awards
---Planned Events for K5RAV and N5AUS
---Upcoming Hamfests and Conventions

                      Happy New Year 2016!

----ARRL Winter Board Meeting

The ARRL Board meets in Harford, CT, on January 15-16, 2016.  The
fifteen Directors and fifteen Vice Directors will converge on Hartford
for the semi-annual meeting of the ARRL Board of Directors, and at this
year's meeting the Board will elect a new CEO to replace the retiring
Dave Sumner, K1ZZ.  This past year Dave announced that he would retire
on May 1, 2016.

The ARRL Board elected Director Woolweaver and four other Directors to
serve on a CEO Search Committee.  The Committee has been working for
over a year to find a replacement for Mr. Sumner.  It has not been an
easy task.  The Search Committee solicited applications to replace the
CEO and nearly 100 candidates were reviewed.  The Search Committee will
announce the name of its recommendation to replace Mr. Sumner as CEO of
the ARRL at the January 15th ARRL Board session.  If the Board accepts
the Committee's recommendation, a new CEO will be elected.  It is
expected that the new CEO will start work at ARRL Headquarters in late
February or early March.  Look for the notice announcing the new CEO on
the ARRL website, and later in QST magazine.

----ARRL Foundation Scholarship Program

The ARRL Foundation is currently accepting applications from eligible
radio amateurs pursuing higher education. More than 80 scholarships
ranging from $500 to $5,000 will be awarded in 2016. In addition, one
applicant is selected for the prestigious William R. Goldfarb Memorial
Scholarship, awarded to a high school senior pursuing a degree in
business, computers, medical, nursing, engineering or science.

All applicants must submit a completed online application. Applicants
must also forward a copy of their academic transcript from their most
recently completed school year to Applications
without accompanying transcripts will not be considered.

Please note: Cell phone photos of transcript(s) will NOT be accepted.
All transcript(s) must be scanned into a pdf format and emailed to

Applications for the 2016 scholarship process must be received between
midnight, October 1, 2015 and 11:59PM Eastern Standard Time January 31,
2016.  Transcripts must be received by Thursday, February 18, 2016.

Students submitting applications for the 2016 process should read the
scholarship descriptions carefully and apply only for those
scholarships for which they are eligible - some scholarships have
geographic criteria or other requirements.

Awards are typically notified by mid-May by USPS mail and email.

How to establish an ARRL Foundation Scholarship:

Individuals, groups or clubs wishing to establish an ARRL Foundation
Scholarship may review the Sample Terms of Reference.  For additional
information, contact the ARRL Foundation by email at or call Lauren Clarke, KB1YDD, at 860-594-0348.

---H.R. 1301 and S. 1685 Advance in Congress

The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 — H.R. 1301 and S. 1685 — now
has the support of over 116 members of the US House of Representatives.
 One of the newcomers agreeing to cosponsor H.R. 1301 was Rep John
Larson (D-CT) who represents the Connecticut House district that
includes ARRL Headquarters.  The other new cosponsor was Rep Kristi L.
Noem (R-SD).

The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 would direct the FCC to extend its
rules relating to reasonable accommodation of Amateur Service
communications to private land use restrictions. Kinzinger introduced
H.R. 1301 in March with 12 original cosponsors from both sides of the
aisle. Sen Roger Wicker (R-MS) introduced S. 1685 in June with Sen
Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) as the original cosponsor.

Recently the League took steps to address objections and concerns
raised by representatives of community associations about the
legislation. The ARRL produced the YouTube video ,"Clarity on Amateur
Radio Parity," which makes it clear that the bill will not create new
federal policy with respect to outdoor amateur antennas. As it points
out, the FCC already recognizes a strong federal interest in effective
Amateur Radio communication from residences and has adopted a limited
preemption of state and local regulation of Amateur Radio antennas. The
Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 would extend the limited preemption to
private land-use restrictions.

H.R. 1301 has been referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Rep Greg Walden, W7EQI (R-OR), chairs that panel's Communications and
Technology Subcommittee, which will consider the measure.  S. 1685 was
referred to the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation
Committee's subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation,
and the Internet, chaired by Sen Wicker, the bill's sponsor.
S. 1685 was passed out of committee with only two negative votes.  The
bill now awaits action on the floor of the Senate.

The ARRL continues to encourage members to write their US House and
Senate members urging their cosponsorship of the legislation. Visit the
Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 page for information on how you can get
involved.  Also, go to the following YouTube address to view "Clarity
on Amateur Radio Parity".

---Annual West Gulf Division Awards

It is time to start working on your submissions for the WG 2015
Divisional Awards which will be presented at the West Gulf Division
Convention at HamCom in June. Nominations for 2016 Award Winners will
be accepted until May 1, 2016. Nomination forms for each nominee (by
category) must be supported by at least three ARRL members on the award
nomination form, a minimum 150 word statement, and any available
supporting documentation. Other rules do apply and can be found on the
nomination forms.

The Division Awards judging panel consists of four (4) ARRL members
selected by each of the Section Managers in North Texas, Oklahoma,
South Texas and West Texas Sections. The Section Manager may opt to
appoint his/herself to the committee. The fifth judge is selected by
the Division Director and may reside anywhere within the West Gulf
Division. Neither the Division Director nor the Vice Director will
participate in the vote.

Please make 2016 the year that you nominate that outstanding member of
your club that you know deserves Division level recognition for all the
good things they do for amateur radio.

Rules and nomination forms are available at:

---Planned Events for K5RAV and N5AUS

Director Woolweaver, K5RAV and Vice Director Stratton, N5AUS plan to
attend the following upcoming events in 2016.

---San Antonio Radio Fiesta, San Antonio, TX Jan 9
---ARRL Winter Board Meeting, Hartford, CT Jan 12-17
---Orange Hamfest, Orange, TX Feb 27
---STX Section Convention (Greater Houston Hamfest) Mar 18-19

--- San Antonio Radio Fiesta, San Antonio, TX Jan 9
---Irving ARC, Inc. Hamfest, Irving, TX Mar 5
---WCARC Swapfest and License Testing, Georgetown, TX Mar 12
---WTX Convention (St. Patrick's Day Hamfest), Midland TX Mar 19

ARRL Convention and Hamfest events are a great place to visit with the
Division and Section Leadership. Each event will also include an ARRL
forum where you can receive additional insight into Division and
Section matters.

At any time that you have a concern or just want to say hello, contact
Director Woolweaver at

---Upcoming Hamfests and Conventions

01/09/2016 | San Antonio Radio Club Fiesta
Location: Schertz, TX
Type: ARRL Hamfest
Sponsor: San Antonio Radio Club

01/15/2016 | NTX Section Convention (Cowtown Hamfest)
Location: Forest Hill, TX
Type: ARRL Convention
Sponsor: Cowtown Amateur Radio Club

02/27/2016 | Orange Hamfest 2016
Location: Orange, TX
Type: ARRL Hamfest
Sponsor: Orange ARC and Jefferson County ARC

03/05/2016 | 27th Annual Elk City Hamfest
Location: Elk City, OK
Type: ARRL Hamfest
Sponsor: West Central Oklahoma Amateur Radio Club

03/05/2016 | Irving ARC, Inc. Hamfest
Location: Irving, TX
Type: ARRL Hamfest
Sponsor: Irving Amateur Radio Club, Inc.

03/12/2016 | WCARC Swapfest and License Testing
Location: Georgetown, TX
Type: ARRL Hamfest
Sponsor: Williamson County ARC

03/18/2016 | STX Section Convention (Greater Houston Hamfest)
Location: Rosenburg, TX
Type: ARRL Convention
Sponsor: Brazos Valley Amateur Radio Club

03/19/2016 | WTX Convention (St. Patrick's Day Hamfest)
Location: Midland, TX
Type: ARRL Convention
Sponsor: Midland Amateur Radio Club

ARRL West Gulf Division
Director: David A Woolweaver, K5RAV

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Predicting Winter Weather program set #Skywarn #OKwx

"Winter storms are always one of the toughest weather features to forecast. Our weather models try their best to pin point what area will be hit the hardest and which areas that could see no affect at all. 

The National Weather Service in Sterling, VA is the test bed for a new Winter Storm Threat Graphic. The Storm Prediction Center issues severe weather outlooks, now winter weather is going to be treated the same way. Will these be helpful? Will they confuse people? 

Warning Coordinator Meteorologist Christopher Strong from The National Weather Service in Sterling, VA will join us to talk about how his forecast office will be the first to use the new method." #Skywarn #WRN

Click the link for more information about the event set for January 6 at  8 pm Eastern Time.  The event is hosted by the Carolina Weather Group.

News from the American Radio Relay League