Georgia Single Sideband Association
Serving Amateur Radio since 1960

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Upcoming Hamfests

CARS Swapmeet
Savannah, GA
April 27


Calhoun Hamfest
Resaca, GA
April 27


Wiregrass ARC Spring Tailgate
Headland, AL
April 27


Dayton Hamvention
Xenia, OH
May 17-19


Atlanta Hamfest
Marietta, GA
June 1


Huntsville Hamfest
Huntsville, AL
August 17


Stone Mountain Hamfest
Lawrenceville, GA
November 2-3



Amateur Radio Sessions Set for 2019 National Hurricane Conference

Amateur Radio will again be represented at the 2019 National Hurricane Conference, April 22 – 25 in New Orleans. “Improving Hurricane Preparedness” is the traditional conference theme. A series of free Amateur Radio sessions will take place on Tuesday, April 23, getting under way at 10:30 AM and continuing until 5 PM. Presenters will offer an overview of their respective organizations and discuss actions during significant hurricanes of 2017 and 2018.

National Hurricane Center (NHC) Director Ken Graham, WX4KEG, will kick off the opening session, discussing the importance of Amateur Radio surface conditions reporting. Bob Robichaud, VE1MBR, of the Canadian Hurricane Centre will talk on hurricane meteorology and offer a brief overview of the Centre. A presentation by ARRL Virgin Islands Section Manager Fred Kleber, K9VV, will focus on the response and recovery of the US Virgin Islands in the wake of hurricanes Irma and Maria.

In the second session, NHC Assistant Amateur Radio Coordinator Julio Ripoll, WD4R, will discuss operations of NHC’s WX4NHC. Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) Manager Bobby Graves, KB5HAV, will be on hand to explain how the HWN functions in hurricane response situations. He’ll also talk about personal weather stations and backup power. ARRL Eastern Massachusetts Section Emergency Coordinator Rob Macedo, KD1CY, will talk about the VoIP Hurricane Net and best practices in SKYWARN for tropical systems.

National Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN) Liaison Bill Feist, WB8BZH, will describe SATERN and its health-and-welfare role in hurricanes.Plans call for recording and live-streaming all presentations via YouTube. Visit or or the VoIP WX Net website for more details.



Solar Cycle 25 Peak Predicted to be Similar to Cycle 24, But Experts Predict A Long, Deep Solar Minimum

Scientists predicting the sun's activity for Solar Cycle 25 say it's likely to be much like that of current Cycle 24, which is declining and predicted to bottom out in 2019 or 2020. Solar Cycle 25 Prediction Panel experts said Solar Cycle 25 may get off to a slow start, but is anticipated to peak between 2023 and 2026 with a sunspot range of 95 to 130. This is well below the typical average of 140 to 220 sunspots per solar cycle. The panel expressed high confidence that the coming cycle should break the trend of weakening solar activity seen over the past four cycles. The Solar Cycle Prediction Panel forecasts the number of sunspots expected for solar maximum, along with the timing of the peak and minimum solar activity levels for the cycle. The outlook was presented on April 5 at the 2019 NOAA Space Weather Workshop in Boulder, Colorado.

"We expect Solar Cycle 25 will be very similar to cycle 24: Another fairly weak cycle, preceded by a long, deep minimum," said panel co-chair Lisa Upton, a solar physicist with Space Systems Research Corp. "The expectation that Cycle 25 will be comparable in size to Cycle 24 means that the steady decline in solar cycle amplitude, seen from cycles 21 - 24, has come to an end and that there is no indication that we are currently approaching a Maunder-type minimum in solar activity."

The solar cycle prediction gives a rough idea of the frequency of space weather storms of all types, from radio blackouts to geomagnetic storms and solar radiation storms. In addition to its effects on Amateur Radio signal propagation, space weather can affect power grids; critical military, airline, and shipping communications; satellites and GPS signals, and can even threaten astronauts through exposure to harmful radiation.

Solar Cycle 24 reached its maximum in April 2014, with a peak average of 82 sunspots. The sun's northern hemisphere led the sunspot cycle, peaking more than 2 years ahead of the southern hemisphere sunspot peak. Given that the sun takes 11 years to complete one solar cycle, this is only the fourth time that US scientists have issued a solar cycle prediction. The first panel convened in 1989 for cycle 22.

For Solar Cycle 25, the panel hopes for the first time to predict the presence, amplitude, and timing of any differences between the northern and southern hemispheres on the sun, known as hemispheric asymmetry. Later this year, the panel will release an official sunspot number curve showing the predicted number of sunspots during any given year and any expected asymmetry. The panel will also look into the possibility of providing a solar flare probability forecast.

"While we are not predicting a particularly active Solar Cycle 25, violent eruptions from the sun can occur at any time," said Doug Biesecker, panel co-chair and a solar physicist at NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC).

-ARRL Letter


ARRL and FCC Sign Memorandum to Implement New Volunteer Monitor Program

ARRL and the FCC have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that paves the way to implement the new and enhanced Volunteer Monitor program. The memorandum establishes the Volunteer Monitors as a replacement for the Official Observers (OO) program. Current OOs have been encouraged to participate in the new program.

“We are excited by the opportunity to codify our partnership with the FCC and to work together to achieve our mutual interests of protecting the integrity of our Amateur Radio bands,” said ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR. “This Memorandum of Understanding will serve as the foundation for a new level of partnership on this very important issue.”

ARRL has contracted with retired FCC special counsel and former Atlantic Division Vice Director Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH, to oversee the ARRL’s role in the development and implementation of the Volunteer Monitor program.

Approved by the ARRL Board of Directors at its July 2018 meeting, the new Volunteer Monitor program is a formal agreement between the FCC and ARRL in which volunteers trained and vetted by the ARRL will monitor the airwaves and collect evidence that can be used both to correct misconduct or recognize exemplary on-air operation. Cases of flagrant violations will be referred to the FCC by the ARRL for action in accordance with FCC guidelines.

The intent of this program is to re-energize enforcement efforts in the Amateur Radio bands. It was proposed by the FCC in the wake of several FCC regional office closures and a reduction in field staff.

“Under this program, the FCC will give enforcement priority to cases developed by the Volunteer Monitor program, without the delay of ARRL having to refer cases through the FCC online complaint process,” Hollingsworth said. Hollingsworth has identified three phases to the program: Development, Solicitation and Training, and Implementation.

The Development phase will include drafting a mission statement, clearly defining the ARRL’s and FCC’s requirements and needs as part of the program, writing a job description for volunteer monitors, and developing a training manual for volunteers.
The Solicitation and Training phase will involve identifying the geographic locations where volunteer monitors will be most needed, soliciting applications and guidance from Section Managers in reviewing applicants. (Those currently volunteering as Official Observers are invited to apply for appointment as Volunteer Monitors.).
The Implementation phase will involve having the volunteers provide field reports to ARRL, with staff offering guidance to volunteers to ensure that the information collected meets requirements for FCC enforcement action.
Hollingsworth has committed to FCC and ARRL officials to ensure the adequacy of training for the new positions, to review the quality and utility of Volunteer Monitor submissions to the FCC for enforcement actions, and to advocate for rapid disposition of cases appropriately submitted to the FCC.

ARRL officials estimate that within 6 to 9 months the first Volunteer Monitors will be in place and ready to begin their duties.




Now We Wait.....

ARRL Technician Enhancement Proposal

The FCC invited public comments on ARRL's 2018 Petition for Rule Making, now designated as RM-11828, which asks the FCC to expand HF privileges for Technician licensees to include limited phone privileges on 75, 40, and 15 meters, plus RTTY and digital mode privileges on 80, 40, 15, and 10 meters. Interested parties had until April 15 to comment. The Technician enhancement proposals stemmed from the recommendations of the ARRL Board of Directors' Entry-Level License Committee, which explored various initiatives and gauged member opinions in 2016 and 2017.

"This action will enhance the available license operating privileges in what has become the principal entry-level license class in the Amateur Service," ARRL said in its Petition. "It will attract more newcomers to Amateur Radio, it will result in increased retention of licensees who hold Technician Class licenses, and it will provide an improved incentive for entry-level licensees to increase technical self-training and pursue higher license class achievement and development of communications skills."

Specifically, ARRL proposes to provide present and future Technician licensees:

- Phone privileges at 3.900 to 4.000 MHz, 7.225 to 7.300 MHz, and 21.350 to 21.450 MHz

- RTTY and digital privileges in current Technician allocations on 80, 40, 15, and 10 meters.

Under the ARRL plan, the maximum HF power level for Technician operators would remain at 200 W PEP. ARRL's petition points to the need for compelling incentives not only to become a radio amateur in the first place, but then to upgrade and further develop skills.

The ARRL Board's ad hoc Entry-Level License Committee, which recommended the proposals, received significant input from ARRL members via more than 8,000 survey responses.

Now numbering some 384,500 licensees, Technicians comprise more than half of the US Amateur Radio population. ARRL stressed in its petition the urgency of making the license more attractive to newcomers, in part to improve upon science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, "that inescapably accompanies a healthy, growing Amateur Radio Service."

ARRL said its proposal is critical to develop improved operating skills, increasing emergency preparedness participation, improving technical self-training, and boosting overall growth in the Amateur Service, which has remained nearly inert at about 1% per year.



Radio History: A Century of Amateur Radio and the ARRL

Look at this "history" of ham radio through the eyes of the ARRL, an interesting read!


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Georgia Cracker Radio Club
Meets on 3995 mornings at 7


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