RAC Ontario Sections Bulletin for March 4, 2023
Official Bulletin Station for Radio Amateurs of Canada with this week’s bulletin.
1. March-April 2023 eTCA is now available
The digital (eTCA) version of the March-April 2023 TCA is now available for viewing
or download. The paper version is now at the printer. To download your copy please visit:
— RAC Website
ONTARIO SECTION NEWS
ITEMS OF INTEREST
2. Answering Some Pico Balloon Questions
When the US Air Force shot down some suspected Chinese spy balloons a couple of weeks ago,
it was widely reported that one of the targets might have been a much more harmless amateur radio craft.
The so-called pico balloon K9YO was a helium-inflated Mylar balloon carrying a tiny solar-powered
WSPR beacon, and it abruptly disappeared in the same place and time in which the USAF claimed one
of their targets. When we covered the story it garnered a huge number of comments both for and against
the balloonists, so perhaps it’s worth returning with the views of a high-altitude-ballooning expert.
Dave Ackerman has been sending things aloft for a long time now, we think he may have been one of
the first to put a Raspberry Pi aloft back in 2012. In his blog post he attempts to answer the frequently
asked questions about pico balloons, their legality, whether they should carry a beacon, and what the
difference is between these balloons and the latex “weather balloon” type we’re familiar with. It’s worth
a read, because not all of us are part of the high-altitude balloon community and thus it’s good to
Hackaday Blog – https://hackaday.com/2023/02/24/answering-some-pico-balloon-questions/
3. Former FEMA Execs Push To Save AM Radio in EV’s
Former FEMA Head Craig Fugate, who’s always been a proponent of local radio, has signed a letter,
along with other former FEMA officials, asking the federal government for help making sure all
automakers include AM radio in Electric Vehicles.
The Wall Street Journal was the first to report the letter Monday. In it Fugate says “When all else fails,
radio stations are often the last line of communications that communities have.”
Some automakers are dropping AM radio from their newer Electric vehicles because they say the
vehicles generate electromagnetic frequencies on the same wavelength as AM radio signals, creating
buzzing and signal fading from the interference.
The letter sent to members of Congress included signatures from 7 former FEMA administrators.
The letter was also sent to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
Read more – Radio Ink: http://bit.ly/3kE7PyH
— This Week in Amateur Radio News
4. A Linux Distro For All Your Ham Needs
For anyone new to the world of ham radio, one of the things that takes a little getting used to is visiting
the websites of authoritative experts in various fields and feeling like you’ve traveled back to the Internet
of 1999. As a hobby that lends itself to extremely utilitarian amateurs, the software side can feel a little
left behind like that. Andy, KB1OIQ, on the other hand, is also a Linux enthusiast and has been putting
together a complete Linux distribution to operate your station.
While most ham radio software seems to be developed for Windows, there is a lot available for Linux.
It just takes a bit of tinkering and experimentation to get everything configured just right. Andy’s Ham Radio
Linux, or AHRL, takes a lot of the guesswork out of this. The distribution includes everything from contact
logging software to antenna modeling, propagation forecasting, and electronic design. While tools like this
are largely optional for operating radios themselves, there are also tools included to allow the user to
operate various digital modes as well, which require some sort of computer interface to use.
— Hackaday https://hackaday.com/2023/02/23/a-linux-distro-for-all-your-ham-needs/
This concludes this week’s bulletin.
Bulletin sent from Official Bulletin Manager VA3PC