Information Net for March 26

News, Press Releases and General Interest

Read by: RICK N9GRW

The threes are cleaning up in operating events lately and I don’t mean Maryland-DC, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. The ARRL Triple Play award and other multi-mode contests have now been followed by the World Wide Iron Ham Contest from Brazil and the Greek Triathlon DX Contest. Limber up the fingers to type, squeeze, and send in all three modes! (Thanks, Kostas SV1DPI and Oms PY5EG)

The 16th Annual SVHFS Conference will be held on April 20-21 in Charlotte, NC. There will be an antenna gain “shootout” and a noise figure test on Friday. ARRL President, Kay Craigie N3KN will be the featured speaker on Friday. There are plenty of technical and operating presentations, commercial vendors, plus a flea market on Friday evening. The Saturday banquet keynote speaker will be Nobel laureate Joe Taylor K1JT. (Thanks, Jim W4KXY)

Many clubs are looking for ways to help their newly-licensed members become active and learn HF operating skills. The upcoming ARRL Rookie Roundup (April 15th) has added the Multioperator category along with Team competition to help clubs do just that. Set up an all-day operating event, activate the club station, arrange for an open house – whatever is best for your club. Challenge another local club for bragging rights – competition is fun! As an extra bonus, you’ll be training and recruiting a crop of brand-new Field Day operators, too!

The tongue-in-cheek suggestion by Guy N7ZG of using the Q signal QTK to tell a pileup of spot-clickers to spread out got a lot of interest. I found, however, that QTK is actually a real Q-signal and means “What is the speed of your aircraft in relation to the surface of the Earth?” (Upon which I naturally wondered, “Laden or unladen?” but I digress…) Doing a little research on Q codes, I found the far better amateur net operations Q signal, QNY, which means “Shift to another frequency”. Seriously – why not use QNY to mean “spread out”? Even if no one knows exactly what it means, it will confuse enough of the stations to let you work a few of the remaining callers.

Emergency Power for Radio Communications

Read by: ADAM W8IFG

When all else fails…how will you communicate?

Tools for…

  • Emergency or Backup Power
  • Energy Independence
  • Portable Energy
Emergency Power for Radio Communications Book

ARRL Store

With Emergency Power for Radio Communications, you will explore the various means of electric power generation for every application–from charging batteries, to keeping the lights on. This book covers the foundation of any communications installation—the power source. Use this book to plan ways to stay on the air when weather or other reasons cause a short-term or long-term power outage. Find ways to reach beyond the commercial power grid. Identify methods for alternative power generation that will work best in your particular situation, perhaps taking advantage of possibilities already on hand.

These are topics that can be discussed at the NARC or DCARES MEETING:

  • Keeping the Signals on the Air
  • Emergency Lighting
  • Solar Power
  • Charge Controllers for Photovoltaic Systems
  • Generators: Gas, Wind and Water
  • Load Sizing
  • Battery Systems and Storage
  • Systems for Emergency Power
  • Inverters
  • Station Instrumentation
  • Safety
  • Emergency Practices

Basic Disaster Supplies Kit


A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:

Recommended Supplies List PDF

Recommended Supplies List (Credit: FEMA)

  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger

Additional Emergency Supplies

Once you have gathered the supplies for a basic emergency kit, you may want to consider adding the following items:

  • Prescription medications and glasses
  • Infant formula and diapers
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Cash or traveler’s checks and change
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container. You can use the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK) (PDF – 977Kb) developed by Operation Hope, FEMA and Citizen Corps to help you organize your information.
  • Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or free information from this web site. (See Publications)
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  • Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted, nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children

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