Officials in the Philippines are still assessing the extent of damage wrought by Typhoon Haiyan (locally called “Yolanda”), which hit the central Philippines November 8. The death toll is at least 100, with many others injured and some 500,000 people left homeless. The typhoon (hurricane), with sustained winds approaching 150 MPH with gusts to 170 MPH, swept away homes and buildings, blocked roads with fallen trees and debris, and disrupted electrical power and communication facilities. Ham Emergency Radio Operator (HERO) Thelma Pascua, DU1IVT, said hams were handling essential traffic, as the rescue and relief effort continues.
“We have established a good HF communication link with Tacloban City,” she said. “Exchanges on air are for emergency, priority or welfare traffic to and from Leyte Province. This may take days while other means of communications are yet to be restored.” DX5RAN (RADNET or District 5 Radio Amateur Network) is operating at the Tacloban City Hall powered by a generator and using a wire antenna. Tacloban City is on Leyte, the hardest-hit island and one of six islands that the typhoon slammed into on Friday.
A hiker in distress in Nevada is thankful that he had his hand-held transceiver along when he found himself stranded in the hills near Henderson. Western Intertie Network (WIN http://www.winsystem.org/) System member Jim Frederick, KF6QBW, in Arizona reports he was monitoring the system November 3 around midday when he heard, “Mayday, Mayday. Hiker in distress!” from his WIN System repeater.
Public-safety communications networks in Colorado suffered minimal damage and outages during historic flooding in early September, and amateur radio operators made considerable contributions to the disaster’s communications efforts.
AMSAT Argentina is pleased to announce that on Saturday, June 29, 2013 from 1400 GMT, weather permitting, it is planned to launch an amateur radio high altitude balloon FM repeater ‘Betty II’ from Victorica, La Pampa, 665 km. west of Buenos Aires, it is expected to travel east. – LU7AA, AMSAT-LU
Here’s an interesting article from the Lowell Sun Online. The Lowell Sun is in Lowell, MA. Yes, Ham Radio is a social network!
CHELMSFORD — Andy Stewart and his friends could be considered revolutionary.
“The jokes that I hear are that ham radio was the original social network,” he said.
Stewart, 50, a ham radio enthusiast, belongs to the Police Amateur Radio Team of Westford, which is open to residents of surrounding towns.
“I’ve been in the club for a little over five years now. I was teaching a computer Linux class with Chelmsford Community Education mid- to late 2006 and I met a couple of gentlemen in class that were amateur experts,” he said. “They suggested I would be a good fit for this hobby.”
Like people who text, the ham radio community uses certain abbreviations and shortcuts, so even people who don’t speak English can communicate with one another. Stewart, who got his first license in January 2007, says he communicates for pleasure, speaking with people in other countries. – Read more By Marie Donovan, Sun Correspondent by clicking on the link below.
The Dayton Hamvention ® — the largest gathering of radio amateurs in the US — is just around the corner, May 17-19. Held annually at the Hara Arena Conference and Exhibition Center in the Dayton suburb of Trotwood, Ohio, Hamvention is sponsored by the Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA).
This year’s “ARRL Dayton Team” includes more than 100 people — volunteers, officials and Headquarters staff. The centerpiece of the ARRL’s participation isARRL EXPO 2013, a large exhibit area in Hara’s Ballarena Hall. First introduced in 2005, ARRL EXPO has become a popular mainstay at the event. “ARRL EXPO is a show-within-a-show, and the area will be filled with membership program representatives and exhibits that cover a variety of Amateur Radio topics and interest areas,” explained ARRL Marketing Manager Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R, who also serves as the ARRL EXPO Coordinator. “The ARRL has put together dozens of exhibits, programs and activities to help represent the very best of our programs, services and information. There will be something for every ham at ARRL EXPO.” – Read more from the ARRL website, see below.
I was reading a discussion post on the Internet the other day and was wondering just how Hams helped out at the Boston Marathon. Here’s the answer:
As has happened many times in years past, over 200 Amateur Radio operators participated in communications for the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, 2013. Unlike prior challenging situations such as very warm weather for the runners or other weather-related challenges, this year’s marathon will be remembered for the bombings that took place at the finish line. Despite this heinous act, professional first responders, medical volunteers from the American Red Cross that staffed the route, and Amateur Radio operators performed magnificently in the face of adversity.
“Within minutes, cell phone systems became overloaded and making phone calls and text messages was difficult. Amateur Radio operators performed communication duties under duress and performed admirably. No Amateur Radio volunteers were injured on the course in this terrible act,” said Steve Schwarm, W3EVE, who is the Amateur Radio Course Communication Coordinator and associated with a consortium of clubs and groups known as Marathon Amateur Radio Communications (MARC). – Read more from the ARRL website by clicking the link below.
This year marks the 88th anniversary of the founding of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU). To mark this occasion, the IARU and its more than 160 Member Societies will celebrate World Amateur Radio Day on April 18. For many years, the IARU Administrative Council has declared a theme for each World Amateur Radio Day. The theme for 2013 is Amateur Radio: Entering Its Second Century of Disaster Communications.