Eclipse Viewing Ideas

This coming Monday, August 21st there will be a solar eclipse starting at approximately 9 AM and ending by 11:45 AM.  In the Concord, CA area we will have the sun obscured 76.5%.  For those of you who are not heading north to join the mega traffic jam’s there are at least 3 ways to virtually observe the eclipse without going outside.

NOAA’s GOES-16 satellite will have a clear view of the moon’s shadow as it travels diagonally across the United States, from the Pacific Northwest through South Carolina.

NOAA will be sharing a variety of GOES-16 images and animations throughout the day, including:
  • The beginning of the eclipse on the West Coast
  • The path of the eclipse across the entire U.S.
  • The moon’s shadow as it passes beyond the U.S.
NOAA will also have images from the EPIC camera on board NOAA’s DSCOVR satellite. Sitting one million miles from Earth, between our planet and the sun, DSCOVR will offer its own unique perspective on the eclipse!

The above information can be found at the NOAA Satellite and Information Service website.

Another way of observing the solar eclipse is to use the BloomSky weather network.  BloomSky weather stations have wide angle camera’s pointed towards the sky to show weather conditions.  Likewise these same camera’s will be capturing the sun and should show how the sunlight becomes obscured during the eclipse.  While the cameras shows a single snapshot of the sky when you visit the the site it also builds a time lapse movie that can be downloaded after sunset local time.  BloomSky’s weather map locations can be found at the BloomSky weather map website.

The last way of “hearing” the solar eclipse would be to use your AM  radio.  You may have noticed you can hear distant AM broadcast station during the evening hours.  From the San Francisco Bay Area we can hear KNX in Los Angeles on 1070 KHz; KSL in Salt Lake City on 1160 KHz; KBOI in Boise on 670 KHz; KKOH in Reno on 780 KHz; KEX in Portland on 1190 KHz and KIRO in Seattle on 710 KHz to name just a few AM broadcast stations.  These are just a few of the stations South East and North of the Bay Area and may be heard when and if the ionosphere is changed during the eclipse.

Enjoy the United States Eclipse and don’t look directly at the SUN!

ARRL Request to Contact Your US Senators Supporting S 1534 – the Amateur Radio Parity Act

Dear ARRL member,
I am writing to you today because we are at a crossroad in our efforts to obtain passage of The Amateur Radio Parity Act.
Our legislative efforts scored a major victory in our campaign when The Amateur Radio Parity Act, S. 1534 now moves to the Senate, where we need every Senator to approve the bill.  This is the companion Bill to H.R. 555, which passed in the House of Representatives in January.
You are one of over 730,000 licensed Amateur Radio Operators living in the United States.  Many of you already live in deed-restricted communities, and that number grows daily.
NOW IS THE TIME FOR ALL HAMS TO GET INVOLVED IN THE PROCESS!
•       If you want to have effective outdoor antennas but are not currently allowed to do so by your Home Owner’s Association, SEND THESE EMAILS TODAY!!
•       If you already have outdoor antennas, but want to support your fellow hams, SEND THESE EMAILS TODAY!!
•       If you want to preserve your ability to install effective outdoor antennas on property that you own, SEND THESE EMAILS TODAY!!
We need you to reach out to your Senators TODAY!  Right away.
Help us in the effort.  Please go to this linked website and follow the prompts:
Thank you.
73,
Rick
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Rick Roderick, K5UR
President
ARRL – The national association for Amateur Radio®

 

 

KA6BQF report on the June 3rd BSA hike in the East Bay Hills

1. Nature of Activity: Special exercise, Public-Service Event
2. Activity Description: Provided emergency & routine communications for Fages II Hike, an annual 22 mile hike, run by the Boy Scouts of America Mt. Diablo Silverado Council , involving about 165 scouts and adult leaders and approximately 30 volunteers and staff.

3. Places or areas involved: Wildcat Canyon and Tilden East Bay Regional Parks, California

4. Number of amateurs participating: 10
5. Event start date/time: June 3, 2017 06:30 hrs
6. Event end date/time June 3, 2017 19:30 hrs
7. Duration of event (hours): 13.0 hours
8. Total person-hours: 79
9. Number of repeaters used: 2
10. Estimated person-power cost (79 x $19): $1,501.00

11. Estimated cost of equipment used: $10,000.00
12. Total estimated cost of service (10+11): $11,501.00

13. Nets and/or frequencies used: 145.110 WA6KQB, 145.490 WA6HAM
14. Number of messages handled: est 200+
15. Names of agencies receiving communications support: BSA Mt. Diablo Silverado Council, East Bay Regional Parks District

16. Call signs of major participants: KD6SWU, KK6BBT, KK6BBS, W6CJQ, KI6KOZ, WB6WTM, KK6QPE, KA6BQF, N6FUN, KG6ATH

17. Other comments: The San Ramon Valley Fire Department provided their Incident Command Vehicle (CS131) which was used to support the event. One incident occurred during this event.

Amateur Radio organizations providing service: East Bay Amateur Radio
Club, Contra Costa Communications Club, Contra Costa Repeater Association

Location: Contra Costa and Alameda Counties, CA
Submitted by:
Robert Randy Jenkins KA6BQF

KA6BQF requests help for a 20 Mile Boy Scout Hike on June 3, 2017.

Randy Jenkins, KA6BQF is looking for help with the FAGES II Boy Scout Hike on June 3rd. The Boy Scout event starts and finishes at Camp Herms in the Berkeley Hills; and goes over trails in Wildcat Canyon and Tilden Regional Parks. Between 50 and 200 Scouts and adult leaders participate. Randy needs 8 to 12 Hams to man staff check points along the trail, and check in and report participants by Troop. Early checkpoints are shorter duration. Net control is at the lunch stop until all participants have cleared that point, and transfers to the checkout point for the final participants. Hams may volunteer as radio equipped sweeps.

For further information please use the following link to the Boy Scout FAGES II Hike Webpage or contact Randy at ka6bqf@arrl.net.

Cal Balloon Launch details of March 18, 2017 Flight

Reported by Randy Jenkins KA6BQF

ka6bqf@gmail.com

On Saturday, March 18, a high-altitude research balloon was launched from the UC Berkeley campus carrying amateur radio equipment, including APRS, using the call sign W6BB-1 and a cross-band repeater, and other experiments.  The balloon reached an altitude of 108.346 feet, and traveled from the Berkeley campus to west of Folsom, CA. When the balloon passed through the cloud deck, the APRS data showed a velocity in excess of 100 mph.  The chase team kept in touch, via amateur radio.  The balloon team included UC staff and students including K6JEB, W6MMR, and KJ6DBZ.

The balloon was named Henry-1, after the late UC Space Scientist Henry Primbsch, KK6PH.   There will be a story with more details on the EBARC page.  http://www.ebarc.org/hab.htm    The team played the recovered video from the cameras at the March EBARC meeting.

Details:

Balloon:

    Starts At Approximately 6′ When Filled, About 40′ At Burst

    1500 g latex Kamont

     179.1 cu-ft Helium fill

     106k ft Predicted Burst Altitude

     115 min Predicted Burst Time 

     6.7 lb Neck Lift (5.4 lb Payload) 

     925 ft/min Predicted Ascent Rate

 

Parachute:

    60″ Spherachute

    885 ft/min Predicted Descent Rate

 

Radio Module:

    SainSonic APS510 APRS Bluetooth Tracker (1 W) w/Twin Lead J-Pole antenna rigged on flightline)

    Wouxun KG-UV8D HT with Cross Band Repeat Function 

        Output 445.525 MHz NB (1 W)

         Input 135.525 MHz NB (no tone)

         Ground Plane Antenna Mounted on Capsule (Constructed From Welding Rods)

    GoPro Camera

 

Geiger Module

    Recording Geiger Counter – Records High Energy Particle Strike Locations onto SD Card

        Goldmine Electronics Geiger Counter, Adafruit Arduino Uno & GPS Shield With SD Slot

        Energizer Ultimate Lithium Batteries (9V & 1.5 V “AA”)

    Up and Down Looking Camera – HobbyKing HD Wing Camera (1280x720p 30 fps)

 

Atmospheric Sampling Module

    PVC Pipe Within Another Pipe Driven By A Linear Actuator.  Set to Sample at x ft

         Actuonix L12 P Micro Linear Actuator

         Modern Device RBBB Arduino, U-Blox GPS Module

         Energizer Ultimate Lithium Batteries (9V & 1.5 V “AA”)

 

Radar Reflector

        Increases The Apparent Size Of The Object On Radar 

        Homemade Aluminum Laminated Cardboard Corner Reflector

Results of UC Berkeley VE Session on March 15, 2017

Reported by Randy Jenkins KA6BQF

ka6bqf@gmail.com

On March 15, 2017 there was a VE Session at UC Berkeley.  There were 74 candidates registered, our team of 11 VE’s welcomed 66 candidates, including three upgrades, and 63 new licensees.  62 candidates were successful in getting their initial license.  The three candidates for license upgrades were successful. 65 successful candidates.  The team administered a total of 86 exam elements. The test elements administered (P/F) are; Technician 61/1, General 9/8, and Extra 4/3.  There were 55 new Technician, 6 General, and 4 Extra licenses, awarded. There were students and staff from the Cal Electrical Engineering Department and the Cal Solar Car Team.

Some VE’s on the team drove from Petaluma, Novato, and San Francisco.

Grizzly Peak Century bike ride May 7th

Randy Jenkins, KA6BQF is looking for help with the Grizzly Peak Century Ride on May 7th. The event is a 60 and 100 mile bicycle ride involving around 700 cyclists, on paved roads, through the East Bay hills. Start / Finish is in Moraga. Course runs north as far as Port Costa and south as far as Castro Valley. Amateur radio operators provide communications between six fixed location rest stops. Some hams also volunteer as sag drivers or sag communicators. Randy needs 9 to 12 operators for fixed locations, 5 to 11 sag drivers or communicators.

For further information please use the following link to the Grizzly Peak Century Ride Webpage or contact Randy at ka6bqf@arrl.net.

The International Cloud Atlas has been added as a Link

Welcome to the official site of the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) International Cloud Atlas. This Atlas describes the classification system for clouds and meteorological phenomena used by all WMO Members. The classifications also describe meteorological meteors other than clouds – hydrometeors, lithometeors, photometeors, and electrometeors.

The Atlas provides a common language to communicate cloud observations, and ensures consistency in reporting by observers around the world. It serves as a training tool for meteorologists, as well as for those working in aeronautical and maritime environments, and it has become popular with weather enthusiasts and cloud spotters.

© Albert de Nijs Lima NV, Sweden Latitude: 60° 56' 4'' N Longitude: 13° 21' 44'' E 22 December 2014 1634 (Local Time) Camera direction: towards W Image I.D.: P.10U.1 Polar Stratospheric clouds : Nacreous Polar stratospheric clouds composed primarily of ice are known as nacreous, or mother-of-pearl clouds. After sunset they are characterised by brilliant iridescent colours as shown in this photograph from Sweden. Nacreous clouds only form in the stratosphere at a temperature below the ice frost point, typically near -85°C, in the high latitudes of both hemispheres during winter. They are often lenticular in shape. - See more at: https://www.wmocloudatlas.org/upper-atmospheric-clouds.html#sthash.GUc2O8N7.dpuf
© Albert de Nijs
Lima NV, Sweden
Latitude: 60° 56′ 4” N
Longitude: 13° 21′ 44” E
22 December 2014 1634 (Local Time)
Camera direction: towards W
Image I.D.: P.10U.1
Polar Stratospheric clouds : Nacreous
Polar stratospheric clouds composed primarily of ice are known as nacreous, or mother-of-pearl clouds. After sunset they are characterised by brilliant iridescent colours as shown in this photograph from Sweden.
Nacreous clouds only form in the stratosphere at a temperature below the ice frost point, typically near -85°C, in the high latitudes of both hemispheres during winter. They are often lenticular in shape.
– See more at: https://www.wmocloudatlas.org/upper-atmospheric-clouds.html#sthash.GUc2O8N7.dpuf

For more information please use the following link to the International Cloud Atlas.

Serving the SF Bay Area since 1977