RAC Ontario Sections Bulletin for May 11, 2024

RAC Ontario Sections Bulletin for May 11, 2024

Official Bulletin Station for Radio Amateurs of Canada with this week’s bulletin.


1.   Emergency Preparedness Week 2024  May 5-11th

Theme this year: Be Prepared, Know Your Risks

Tips on using technology during a disaster:
-If possible, use text messaging, email or social media.
These use less bandwidth than voice communications
and may work even when phone service doesn’t.
-If you must use a phone, keep your conversation brief and convey
only vital information. This will also conserve your phone’s battery.
-Unable to complete a call? Wait 10 seconds before redialing to
help reduce network congestion.
-Cordless phones rely on electricity and will not work during a
power outage.
-If you have a landline, keep at least one corded phone in your home.
-Keep a charger for your mobile device in your emergency kit.
-Consider getting a solar-powered, crank, or vehicle phone charger.
-If you don’t have a cell phone, keep a prepaid phone card in your emergency kit.
-Keep your contacts up to date on your phone. This will make it
easier to reach important contacts, such as friends, family,
neighbours, child’s school, or insurance agent.
-If you have a smartphone, save your safe meeting location(s) on
its mapping application.
Conserve your smartphone’s battery by reducing the screen’s brightness,
placing your phone in airplane mode, and closing apps you are not using.
You never know how long a power outage will last!
-Remember, in an emergency or to save a life, call 9-1-1 for help.
-You cannot text 9-1-1 in many locations.
-If your area offers 3-1-1 service or another information system, call that number
for non-emergencies.
— emergency planning canada website


2.    Central Ontario Hamfest

Sponsor:    Guelph and Kitchener-Waterloo Amateur Radio Clubs
Date:        Sunday, June 2, 2024
Location:    Waterloo Regional Police Association Recreation Park
GPS:         1128 Rife Rd., North Dumfries, ON
        43.345, -80.419 (Decimal) or 43°20’46″N, 80°25’6W
Times:    Indoor vendors 7 am, Tailgate 8 am, Public 9 am to 12 noon
Cost:        $8.00 (Youths 12 & under are free)
Talk-in    Not Listed
Description:Approaching 50 years, and still going strong! Bringing together
ham radio operators, hobbyists and enthusiasts just before Field Day and the
summer heat. Indoor tables and tailgating, major vendors, loads of collectibles,
free prize draws, tasty bar food and refreshments. Easy parking. Hand sanitizer
available. Masks welcome.
Information: https://hamfest.on.ca/
E-mail: info @ hamfest.on.ca
— RAC events


3.  US Congress pushes law requiring new cars to have AM radio

The law will apply to all “motor vehicles manufactured in the
United States, imported into the United States, or shipped in
interstate commerce after the rule’s effective date.” If cars are on
sale after that date and their entertainment system can’t pick up
AM radio, the manufacturer “must inform purchasers of this fact
through clear and conspicuous labeling.”

Facing congressional questions on the matter, Ars Technica says,
BMW, Ford, Mazda, Polestar, Rivian, Tesla, Volkswagen, and Volvo
all said they were dropping AM radio support, partly because
electrical interference from EV motors can muddle AM radio.
Interference is one of AM radio’s weaknesses.

The fact that FEMA’s emergency alert system partly relies on AM
radio to get its message out during times of national distress led
to this law. When the FCC carried out a test of the system in late
2023, just 1 percent of people received the alerts specifically by
AM radio–nearly everyone else got the warning via their cell phones.

FEMA could update its systems to suit the 21st century, where we
have space-based internet and even satellite-to-cellphone
communication. The Radio for Every Vehicle Act document ends
with a note saying the GAO must “study and report on whether a
reliable alternative communication system exists.”
— inc.com newsite ​

4.    Club Pico Balloon Celebrates a Year in Orbit

A pico balloon launched by the Hualapai Amateur Radio Club will
mark 1 year in orbit on May 19th. The balloon contains a 20 meter
WSPR beacon from QRP Labs. Overcoming a damaged dipole antenna,
telemetry from the balloon was recently received by stations in Australia.

The balloon is now starting another trip across the Pacific Ocean heading
due east toward South America, so we probably will not hear from it for a
while. The balloon is a hydrogen filled 32″ Yokohama brand clear sphere
purchased from Japan.
— Source: Hualapai Amateur Radio Club

This concludes this week’s bulletin.

Bulletin sent from Official Bulletin Manager VA3PC

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