RAC Ontario Sections Bulletin for December 17, 2022
Official Bulletin Station for Radio Amateurs of Canada with this week’s bulletin.
1. Amateur Radio Balloon nears the South Pole
When the high altitude balloon transmitting KM4ZIA, the amateur radio call sign of Jack McElroy,
was launched recently in Antarctica, it became part of atmospheric work being done by University
of Alabama researcher, Todd McKinney KN4TPG. Instead of just helping build mathematical
models of the atmosphere, however, Jack’s balloon soon embarked on a incredible journey.
A little more than a week later, its navigational equipment began to spit out a series of error messages
on 20 meters. One observer in the US, however, realized that nothing was really wrong. He knew,
in fact, that something remarkable was happening. Family friend and high-altitude balloon expert,
Bill Brown, WB8ELK, knew Jack’s solar-powered balloon was a short distance from the South
Pole. Mapping systems could no longer determine its position from data being sent on 20 meters
because of the densely spaced lines of longitude there at the end of the Earth.
This is the closest any amateur radio balloon has come to the South Pole.” Bill phoned the family home
in Georgia that morning from Huntsville, Alabama, on December 1st, and said Jack’s balloon had literally
gone off the map. The news astonished Jack who had quite a story for his science teacher that day.
You can track Jack’s balloon at aprs.fi, using his call sign KM4ZIA.
— Amateur Radio Newsline.
ONTARIO SECTION NEWS
ITEMS OF INTEREST
2. Meteoroid hit suspected after major leak from Soyuz capsule
A major leak from a Russian capsule docked on the International Space Station was most probably
caused when a small meteoroid smashed into a radiator, leading to coolant being sprayed into space,
a Roscosmos official has said.
Thursday’s leak from the Soyuz MS-22 could affect the capsule’s overall coolant system but that there
was “no threat for the crew” of the space station.
The leak had prompted a pair of cosmonauts to abort a planned spacewalk earlier in the day. It also
raises concerns over the capsule’s capability of returning safely to Earth next spring as planned with two
cosmonauts and a Nasa astronaut, or whether an emergency replacement vehicle will have to be sent up.
Micrometeoroids, naturally occurring pieces of rock or metal that can be as small as a grain of sand, pose
a significant danger to human spaceflight. They hurl around the Earth at about 17,000mph much faster than
the speed of a bullet.
— TWIAR News
3. Special Event Callsigns for December’s Youth On The Air
VC3YOTA sponsored by VE3OMV until 2022-12-31
VB7YOTA sponsored by VA7ASI until 2022-12-31
— Industry Canada Website
4 Amateur Radio Featured on Montana Public Television
On Thursday, November 24, 2022, Thanksgiving evening, MontanaPBS aired a documentary about
amateur radio that was appropriately titled, HAM. The 25-minute program was produced by students,
in cooperation with the Greater Montana Foundation, as well as the School of Journalism and the
School of Visual & Media Arts at the University of Montana. Several local amateur radio operators
were featured in the program. Together, they talked about how amateur radio has evolved and their
experiences as active hams.
The program can be watched on the MontanaPBS website, at www.montanapbs.org/programs/ham.
Dennis Lane, KR7Q shared, When I told the students about Parks on the Air®, they asked if they
could come with me on my next POTA activation. During the activation, Lane made radio contacts
on both VHF and HF, using an end-fed half-wave antenna. “One of the first contacts I made was
in Alaska..” Lane published these personal videos from the filming:
— ARRL News
This concludes this week’s bulletin.
Bulletin sent from Official Bulletin Manager VA3PC