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Jerry Colton
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N1TKO United States

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My Ham Radio Interests
Ham Radio is one of the most fascinating hobbies in the world. Since I first became a "Ham" in 1978 I have made thousands of friends around the globe. My very first year in ham radio I became a Net Control station for the Maritime Mobile Service Net on 20 meters and also did NCS duty on the Intercontinental Net. That was long before the invention of cell phones and we on the net ran hundreds of phone patches for folks in remote villages and research stations. Ham Radio has changed a lot over the years. I took 7 years off away from radio and when I got "the bug" and just had to get back on the air, it was like having to learn everything all over again. When I returned, the FCC had just done away with the Code requirements for a license. So I returned to a hostile environment! A lot of the old timers didn't like the "No Code" rule and were very vocal about it on the air. Myself, it doesn't really matter that much. I figure that the No Code rule will bring more operators to the hobby. I love CW and I still work it today. My Elmer was N1DW, a fellow by the name of Don Wiggins. Not only was he very proficient at CW, but his knowledge of electronic theory never ceased to amaze me. I learned so much from Don and I am very, very thankful for his help.
In October my family and I moved from Lowell, Ma to Haverhill, Ma.. Haverhill is about 18 miles from Lowell. I'm in heaven here at the new QTH! Haverhill is a great city. My home is located a few miles from "downtown". I'm surrounded by horse farms here in the outskirts. Simply beautiful.
I jst got my shack together and have a G5RV up about 40 feet. In the spring I will put up my 54 foot Tri-Ex crank-up tower. I'm shopping around for a beam and rotor at the moment. I'll post the pictures of my "new" shack shortly.
Finally, I am a proud member of OMISS. That is the Old Man's International Sideband Society. I am member number 5778. We currently have over 7000 members and growing everyday. Check out our website at or join us on one of Nets. Our nets are held every day, 365 days a year! The best group of guys in Ham radio! If you are a "Paper Chaser" and want to earn awards, OMISS is the club to do it. I earned my WAS (Worked All States) in 57 days..... all on 40 meters! We have Nets on every band, everyday.
If you hear me on the air, Please call and say hello or if you need Massachusetts or Essex county for an award, drop me an email and we'll set up a sked to work. I QSL 100%!
I am retired so I'm always around, or not too far, from the Shack.


Icom 746PRO - G5RV for the HF Bands
I also use my 746PRO on 2 meters and monitor the Haverhill repeater.

Other Interests
Sports: Baseball (Red Sox) Boxing, I worked for 18 years in the sport of Boxing as a trainer, manager and cut-man.


The K7RA Solar Update

From N1TKO

12/1/2009 7:44:17 AM (0 comments) Add a commentAdd Comment

From ARRL News: This is a follow-up to last Wednesday’s pre-Thanksgiving bulletin. It was a little too early to provide the complete Thursday through Wednesday sunspot, solar flux and A index that normally appears in Friday’s bulletin, so we are including it today.

Our exciting period of nearly daily sunspot activity ended with the first spotless day on November 23 and the Sun has been blank since then. A look at the STEREO image shows a bright active area, perhaps five days over the eastern horizon, but we don't know if that will give us sunspots or not. Sunspot numbers for November 19-25 were 30, 31, 14, 13, 0, 0 and 0 with a mean of 12.6. The 10.7 cm flux was 76.7, 76.2, 75.8, 76.3, 75.7, 74.7 and 74.2 with a mean of 75.7. The estimated planetary A indices were 2, 1, 8, 4, 0, 6 and 5 with a mean of 3.7. The estimated mid-latitude A indices were 0, 2, 6, 2, 0, 3 and 4 with a mean of 2.4.

As the two STEREO craft move further from Earth, the visual gap on the Sun's far side is gradually closing; we look forward to the time in 2011 when all of the Sun will be visible from STEREO and Earth; currently the gap is about 14.3 percent. You can calculate the approximate percentage of the Sun in that dark spot by using the "Where is STEREO?" link on the STEREO home page. Check the "Separation angle A with B" stat at the bottom, subtract that number from 180, divide the result by 360 then multiple that result by 100 to get a percentage figure. You can check future dates by clicking on the "STEREO Orbit Tool" link. When you check February 1, 2010 at 0000 UTC, it yields a separation angle of 135.197 degrees. Subtracted from 180 degrees, this yields 44.803. Divide that by 360, then multiply by 100 and you get approximately 12.45 percent remaining on the dark side. October 1, 2010 yields 5.58 percent and January 1, 2011 is just 1.26 percent in the dark. Check the arithmetic!

Kent Tobiska, president of Space Environment Technologies in Pacific Palisades, California, sent in a link with some interesting products and resources for those interested in HF radio propagation. And for iPhone users, they have a very inexpensive (under $2) iPhone app for viewing real-time space weather data. See it here or from a link on their home page. Kent is also associated with the Space Weather Center at Utah State University' their Web site is currently under construction.

WorldRadio Online posts a new issue on the 20th of each month, and each has a column on propagation by Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA. You can download it here and read Carl's article on "The Impact of Deep Solar Minimum on 160m Propagation." Carl's column begins on page 28 of the current December issue. The January 2010 issue should appear online on December 20.

Past bulletins have mentioned the incredible WSPR mode for weak signal communication. Doug Hawkins, W3HH, of Ocala, Florida, was using WSPR mode on November 18 on 30 meters and copied AA1A in Marshfield, Massachusetts -- 1105 miles away. Not unusual, except that AA1A was running only 10 µW. Doug points out that this signal is 20 dB below 1 mW! Doug says that several other stations have copied AA1A, but so far this is the longest distance record. Doug thought the distance was about 900 miles, but I looked up the address for each station at the top of the ARRL Web page then plugged the addresses into a computer atlas to find the exact latitude and longitude coordinates. I then used W6ELprop to calculate the distance, which turned out to be more than 24 percent further than Doug's estimate.

Amateur solar observer Tad Cook, K7RA, of Seattle, Washington, provides this weekly report on solar conditions and propagation. This report also is available via W1AW every Friday, and an abbreviated version appears each Thursday in The ARRL Letter. Check here for a detailed explanation of the numbers used in this bulletin. An archive of past propagation bulletins can be found here. You can find monthly propagation charts between four USA regions and 12 overseas locations here. Readers may contact the author via e-mail.

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