West Palm Beach Amateur Radio Group, Inc.
a Florida Non-Profit Corporation

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Field Day June 27-28,2020

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the West Palm Beach Amateur Radio Group, Inc. (WPBARG) is not having a group Field Day activity. Instead, we encourage all members to participate at home with their own stations and callsigns. In recognition of the anticipated increase in 'at home' operations, the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) has approved two temporary rule changes for this year's Field Day activity on June 27 and 28, 2020. They are as follows:

"1) For Field Day 2020 only, Class D stations may work all other Field Day stations, including other Class D stations, for points.

2) In addition, for 2020 only, an aggregate club score will be published, which will be the sum of all individual entries indicating a specific club (similar to the aggregate score totals used in ARRL affiliated club competitions)."

The club would like all our members to take advantage of the second rule change and submit their Field Day scores so that we get credit for your points. Here is ARRL guidance for submitting your score after Field Day:

"ARRL will calculate the aggregate score based upon the club name entered on the official Field Day entry form via the web applet (preferred method) or on the paper Field Day entry form. In order for results to be tabulated correctly, all club participants must enter the club’s official name exactly the same, avoiding abbreviations or acronyms. This is important!"

To meet this requirement, we ask that you list our club as "West Palm Beach Amateur Radio Group". Remember that the spelling is very important.

For more information, visit the ARRL website at http://arrl.org


Bella's Bottle

Bella’s Bottle is an activity to set adrift a helium or hydrogen filled Mylar balloon carrying a very small ham radio transmitter. Once it reaches about 30,000 feet in altitude, it catches the jet stream and can be carried wherever the jet stream takes it. That could be around the world! Ham Radio stations on earth receive the transmissions and share the location on the internet so everyone can track its whereabouts. The payload can contain a message on a micro SD card. It's like a 21st century version of the old "message in a bottle" if and when someone finds it.

For more information on this project, click on the following link:
Bella's Bottle


Spring Picnic and Foxhunt

Our annual Spring Picnic and Fox Hunt has been postponed to a later date. Stay tuned.

Recent Meeting Programs Have Been Outstanding
* February 2020 - Mickey Baker, N4MB, ARRL’s Southeastern Division Director on Getting On The Air
* January 2020 - Special sneak peek at the new telescope and redesigned ham radio area at the Science Center
* December 2019 - No Meeting. Holiday Party at BJ's West Palm Beach
* November 2019 - Ryan O'Connor N0JEP on WSPR and KiwiSDR
* October 2019 - Les Kalmus W2LK on the Ducie Island DXpedition of 2018. Les was one of the participants on the island.
* September 2019 - Second Annual Used Equipment Auction
* June 2019-Josh Mahr N4KSM presented "Hot Spots for VHF/UHF Digital Modes"
* May 2019-Tour of new Brain Exhibit at the Science Center led by Marc Wiskoff W2MBW
* April 2019-Introduction to about D-Star, led by Steve Ikler KS3K
* March 2019-Balloon Launch by Marc Wiskoff W2MBW
* February 2019-Jim Nagle KF4OD presented "The Softer Side of SDR"
* January 2019-Marc Wiskoff W2MBW conducted a special show for us at the Science Center Planetarium.

Successful VE Session on December 7, 2019

On December 7, 2019 the club held its regularly scheduled Volunteer Examiner (VE) test session at the Science Center. We had seven candidates taking tests. Four achieved their Tech class licenses and one passed the Extra exam. Congratulations to all.

Thanks to our Volunteer Examiner Team, Bob Hagans, Team Leader (W4SOG) and Steve Werner, Asst Team Leader (KD3WK).

The next VE test session will be on Saturday, February 1, 2020 at 10:30 AM at the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium, Discovery III building. Please contact Jerry Grant KI4NUV at ki4nuv "at" yahoo "dot" com to reserve a spot for the test.

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station Logo

WPBARG Links Students with Astronaut in Space Via Ham Radio

In 2016, the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium (SFSC&A) submitted a proposal to the "Amateur Radio on the International Space Station" (ARISS) program to host a radio contact with the crew on-board the International Space Station (ISS). The proposal included the West Palm Beach Amateur Radio Group as its partner to provide technical assistance. In a December 15, 2016 press release, the program announced that their proposal was selected to "move forward into the Next Stage of the ARISS Selection". Only 11 schools/organizations qualified for the second half of 2017. A successful contact with the space station was held on November 6, 2017.

Local students were given the chance of a lifetime to talk live with an astronaut in space. During the radio contact, eleven young students talked with Italian astronaut/ham Paolo Nespoli and asked questions they had prepared. The students, ranging in age from 7 to 12, were selected after writing an essay on what one question they would like to ask an astronaut. There was only a nine minute window where the ISS was in range for a radio contact. The ISS travels about 17,600 miles per hour and is over 250 miles above earth.

Members of the WPBARG were actively involved in the event. The lead technical person was Jim Nagle KF4OD and he was assisted by Rex Rathbun AJ4GC. Jim initiated the contact by calling, "NA1SS this is WS4FSC." NA1SS is the callsign of the ISS and WS4SFC is the callsign for the club's radio station. After a couple calls, the ISS replied and the contact began. Jim then handed the microphone over to the first student for him to ask his question. After receiving the answer from the astronaut, the next students followed with their questions. Things went so smoothly that some students had time to ask a second question.

The WPBARG was previously given the opportunity to conduct a radio contact with the ISS at the Science Center in 2012.

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is a cooperative venture of the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT), the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the United States, and other international space agencies and international amateur radio organizations around the world. The primary goal of ARISS is to promote exploration of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) topics by organizing scheduled contacts via amateur radio between crew members aboard the ISS and students in classrooms or informal education venues. With the help of experienced amateur radio volunteers from amateur radio clubs and coordination from the ARISS team, the ISS crew members speak directly with large group audiences in a variety of public forums such as school assemblies, science centers and museums, Scout camporees, jamborees and space camps, where students, teachers, parents, and communities learn about space, space technologies and Amateur Radio.

Jim Nagle, KF4OD being interviewed by media

Jim Nagle, KF4OD, being interviewed by media.

Hybrid Monthly Meeting

WPBARG Hybrid Weekly Net and Zoom Meeting

Net is on 146.670 (110.9PL)

Time:Tuesday August 11,2020 at 07:00 PM Eastern Time

To Join Zoom Meeting, Click link below or copy and paste

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 857 6750 9829
Passcode: 825627

One tap mobile
+13017158592,,85767509829#,,,,,,0#,,825627# US (Germantown)
+13126266799,,85767509829#,,,,,,0#,,825627# US (Chicago)
Dial by your location
+1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
+1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
+1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)
Meeting ID: 857 6750 9829
Passcode: 825627
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kcdUwJy93F
Anniversary Logo

Club Celebrates 80th Anniversary in 2019

The West Palm Beach Amateur Radio Group was founded on July 12, 1939 which means that we celebrate our 80th Anniversary this year. We plan to have several events during the year to celebrate the occasion. Our new Anniversary Logo is at the top of this column. We are working with our shirt vendor to have special shirts with the logo available for purchase. We had a Special Operating Event On-The-Air from July 5, 2019 through July 19, 2019 using the callsign W4P. Special QSL cards were sent to those who contacted us and sent an SASE. We made over 1,000 contacts during the event and all contacts were uploaded to the "Logbook of the World" (LoTW).

Watch the Home Page for more events when they become known.

VE Testing for Tech Class

Class Picture for VE Testing

L-R Zoran Milenovic KM4ZM (VE), James Cruz KN4UKC, Maria Ruiz KN4UKB, Richard Smith KM4RYM (Instructor), Clara Casalins KN4UKD, Joe Duffy KC4FSU, Nick Prince KN4UKA, Bob Hagans W4SOG (VE), Knut Iversen WA4KI (VE), Steve Ikler KS3K (VE)