Stray Signals

The ARRL Letter, June 14, 2018

The ARRL Letter
June 14, 2018

Rick Lindquist, WW1ME, Editor

[Note: Clicking on the story links below will take you to the news article as it appears in The ARRL Letter on the ARRL website.]

  • Reverse Beacon Network Beta Testing Separate Spot Stream for FT8
  • Sailor Grateful for Maritime Mobile Service Network Assistance
  • Canadian Radio Amateurs Petition Parliament to End Deliberate Interference
  • The Doctor Will See You Now!
  • Selection of Schools/Groups to Host Contacts with Space Station Narrowed to Seven
  • CAMSAT Offers More Details on New Satellites, One Carrying HF Transponders
  • Iranian Radars Showing Up on 10 Meters
  • Attendance Dips at Friedrichshafen’s HAM RADIO 2018
  • A Fresh Voice for Broadcast Reporter Jamie Dupree, NS3T
  • Yasme Foundation Director, Secretary Kip Edwards, W6SZN, SK
  • Former Japan Amateur Radio League President Shozo Hara, JA1AN, SK
  • In Brief…
  • The K7RA Solar Update
  • Just Ahead in Radiosport
  • Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions

ARRL Website, Services to be Down on June 20

The ARRL website and some services will be down for maintenance for up to 4 hours on Wednesday, June 20, starting at approximately midnight EDT (0400 UTC on Thursday, June 21). During this period some or all systems may be temporarily inaccessible, including all content on the ARRL website and the ARRL Store. Logbook of The World (LoTW) and email will not be affected, nor should the ARRL Contest Club Eligibility Lists or Contest Log Submission pages. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Reverse Beacon Network Beta Testing Separate Spot Stream for FT8

The popular Reverse Beacon Network (RBN) has announced that it’s now offering — as a beta test — a separate telnet feed for FT8 spots ( port 7001), in addition to the current spot feed ( port 7000), which will be repurposed to handle only CW and RTTY spots. In addition, a beta version of Aggregator Version 5 that can handle FT8 spots received from WSJT-X will be available on the RBN website, with instructions on how RBN node operators can configure their nodes to spot FT8 call signs on one or more bands; this will not interfere with the ability to spot CW and RTTY call signs, the RBN team assured in its announcement, explaining its reasoning for the move. The beta test follows a limited alpha test aimed at getting a feel for the spot load and other implications of carrying FT8 spots on the RBN.

“The most striking characteristic of FT8 spots is their sheer quantity,” the RBN announcement said, citing weekday statistics from May 23 and 24 when FT8 spots represented 86% and 87% of all spots, respectively, while CW spots were 13% and 14%, respectively, and RTTY spots were below 1%. Throughput on both days totaled some 30,000 spots.

“Whether due to the startling popularity of the new mode, or to the ability to spot stations at 22 dB below the noise level, it seems obvious that adding FT8 spots to our spot flow could have a huge impact on the infrastructure of the RBN,” the RBN announcement said. “These numbers suggest that if only 20 – 30 RBN nodes added FT8 spots, those spots could outnumber the total CW and RTTY spots being delivered by the 140 – 150 nodes currently active on the network, doubling the total required throughput.”

The RBN team said it wanted to find out whether RBN servers would be up to the task before the fall contest season. Read more.

Sailor Grateful for Maritime Mobile Service Network Assistance

Phoenix sailor and radio amateur Timothy Henning, KE7WMZ, has expressed his gratitude to the Maritime Mobile Service Network (MMSN) for intercepting and handling his distress call on 14.300 MHz. Net control operator Harry Williams, W0LS, caught Henning’s call requesting assistance with an

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