Information Net for May 28

Tom Samacicio KB4HQA Involved in an Accident


Dayton contest festivity-goers, Contest University attendees, and those who watched at home will be sad to learn that the guy who made the Internet audio-video feeds sing – Tom Samacicio KB4HQA – was in a serious automobile accident on his way home from the Hamvention and suffered significant injuries. Cards to Tom’s home address (3740 Wake Robin Way, Cumming, GA 30040). Your editor and members of the Spurious Emissions band in particular wish him a speedy recovery along with the readership of the Contest Update. On line posting of the Dayton contest activity videos are a far lower priority than Tom’s recovery. (Thanks, Tim K3LR)

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2012 Big Hill Challenge

Amateur Radio support has been requested for the Big Hill Challenge on June 16, 2012. Starting in Watertown and touring to Center Hill Dam, cyclists of all ages and ability levels are invited to enjoy one of four scenic routes through Wilson, DeKalb, Smith, and Cannon counties. Several Middle TN & Upper Cumberland county amateur radio operators will be needed to support this event.

Event information is at

UPDATE: Jerry Hedgcoth is the club contact person for this event and his email address is The plan is to meet about this event at the monthly Dekalb/Cannon County ARC meeting at 6:30PM, Thursday, May 31st. The meeting address is 722 South Congress Blvd, Smithville, TN (map) and their repeater is 145.490. Dave Perrault from Veloteers will be in attendance to answer questions.

Additional information:

  • Routes: 30 miles, 64, and 98 miles. Route information can be found on the Veloteers web site.
  • Time & Location: Rider registration begins at 6:00AM at Watertown High School (515 W. Main Street, map) and the ride leaves from Town Square at 7:00AM.
  • SAGs: The club is requesting five (5) SAGs with radio communication.
  • Rest Stops: Three (3) rest stops and two (2) water points will provided.

ICOM to Support Boy Scouts

During the 2012 Dayton Hamvention, Icom America announced plans to sponsor the Boy Scouts of America for their 2013 National Scout Jamboree. Icom will be providing equipment and technical support for the K2BSA radio operation, the Radio merit badge, and Jamboree-on-the-Air. These include all amateur radio transceivers, associated power supplies, microphones and speakers. They will also be installing VHF and UHF repeaters that will remain in place year-round to support Summit activities and the local community.

In addition to supporting the National Jamboree, Icom and the BSA will select local councils to receive a loan of a complete amateur radio station for use in merit badge advancement activities and to introduce Scouts to the fun and technology of amateur radio.

More information can be found in the ARRL annoucement as well as the Icom America news release.

Information Net for May 21

BSA to Offer Morse Code Interpreter Strip

Read by: PAUL KJ4WQN

For many years, Boy Scouts and Scouters have been able to earn an interpreter strip to wear on their uniforms. This strip — worn on the uniform above the right pocket — denotes proficiency in a foreign language or sign language. Each language has its own strip (with the name of the language embroidered in that language), and some Scouts and Scouters wear more than one strip. Now those hams involved with the Boy Scouts can show their proficiency in Morse code with a Morse code interpreter strip (with M-O-R-S-E spelled out in Morse code).

According to BSA Director of Communication Services Jim Wilson, K5ND, the idea for a Morse code interpreter strip came about during meetings preparing for the 2012 Jamboree on the Air (JOTA).

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Annual Armed Forces Day Crossband Test

QSL card send by Army MARS station WAR (Europe...
QSL card send by Army MARS station WAR (European Area Gateway, Heidelberg, Germany) for a cross-band radio contact with K4GTM on Armed Forces Day 2010. (Credit: Wikipedia)

In celebration of the 62nd anniversary of Armed Forces Day, the annual Armed Forces Day Crossband Communications Test co-sponsored by the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard will be conducted on May 12. Typically held on the third Saturday in May, this date was chosen to avoid conflict with the Dayton Hamvention which is scheduled for May 18-20.

This annual celebration features traditional military-to-amateur crossband communications tests over SSB voice and Morse code. These tests give amateur radio operators and short wave listeners an opportunity to demonstrate their individual technical skills and to receive recognition from the appropriate military radio station for their proven expertise. QSL cards will be provided to those stations making contact with the military stations.

More information, including station frequencies, can be found on the event announcement.

Information Net for May 7

1st Annual Nashville Flood Memorial HF Net Event


  • What: 1st Annual Nashville Flood Memorial HF Net
  • Where: Sumner Co. Emergency Mgt. Agency EOC, Gallatin, TN
  • When: Saturday, May 12th – 10am to 7pm local time
  • Why: To salute the Amateur Radio response to the 2010 Nashville Flood

The Sumner County ARES team will be hosting an ARRL endorsed Special Event Net on Saturday, May 12th, 2012, to commemorate the 2nd Anniversary of the 2010 Nashville Flood and give recognition to the amateur radio community here in Middle Tennessee that responded to that natural disaster.

We have secured permission from the FCC via the ARRL to use the 1×1 callsign W4F for that weekend. The Special Event will be on the air from 10am to 7pm local. Setup time will start at 8am. We will be radioactive from the ARES group’s home QTH of the Sumner County Emergency Operations Center in Gallatin, TN.

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High-performance HF Transceiver Design

Over at, an article by Doug Grant gives an in-depth look at what goes into designing an HF transceiver. He goes through the different specifications designers must meet and talks about different design approaches by manufacturers. It is an interesting read showing how manufacturers use state-of-the-art technology and design tricks to achieve the performance of their rigs.

FCC Proposes Price Hike for Vanity Call Signs

On May 4, the FCC released Notice of Proposed Rulemaking FCC 12-48 to propose the collection of $339,844,000 in regulatory fees for the 2012 fiscal year. One of the proposed changes is the regulatory fee to obtain or renew an amateur radio vanity call sign. Currently, the fee is $14.20 and is good for 10 years; the FCC proposes to increase this to $15.

Those holding vanity call signs issued prior to 1993 are exempt from having to pay the vanity call sign regulatory fee at renewal as Congress did not authorize the FCC to collect regulatory fees until 1996. In the past 14 years of the current program, the fee fluctuated from a low of $11.70 in 2007 to a high of $70 when it was first proposed in 1994.

The FCC anticipates to collect $214,500 this fiscal year from the 14,300 amateur radio operators applying for or renewing their vanity call signs.

For more information, see the ARRL news announcement.

Information Net for April 30

The History of Jelly Beans


What do you love about jelly beans? Is it the candy-coated exterior? Or the soft, gummy inside of these bean-shaped candies? While the world’s love for the tiny, colorful candies is undeniable, it seems the origin of jelly beans is a bit of a mystery.

According to the Candy Favorites website, the original jelly bean is thought to have been a combination of the first jelly candy, the Turkish Delight (which dates back thousands of years), and the hard-candy shell of Jordan Almonds created in the 17th century. The earliest reference to this jelly-bean ancestor is from the 1800s, when a Boston candy maker named William Schrafft advertised his jelly beans as a gift to send to Union soldiers fighting in the American Civil War.

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