October 2014
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Jack Ciaccia, WMØG

ARRL CO Section Manager

PO Box 21362

Boulder, CO   80308-4362

303-587-0993  (Cell)  

Email: wm0g@arrl.org


ARRL Section Manager Responsibilities




FEMA Citizen Corps 2014 National Community Preparedness Award Presented to Boulder County ARES (BCARES)

Honorable Mention – Technical Innovation

fema bcares award
This honor was paid to BCARES for their construction and implementation of the Mountain Emergency Radio Network (MERN) that they funded and installed prior to the devastating floods that hit the mountain communities above the City of Boulder. The MERN VHF repeater network was instrumental in saving the lives of a number of individuals during the flood by providing a constant link to communities where communications was non-existent but for ham radio.
BCARES utilized Fast Scan ATV and broadcast their live ATV pictures of air rescue operations from the disaster area to national, state, county and city government agencies around the USA via uStream. During the Disaster Assessment stage, BCARES utilized APRS and broadcast the live location of DAT team vehicles from their remote locations in the mountains via APRS.FI on Google Maps to the Red Cross and Boulder County officials. The gathered location info and mapped results proved very useful throughout the assessment effort to keep DAT teams from covering areas previously surveyed. Above is a copy of the FEMA Award Certificate signed by Craig Fugate, FEMA Administrator.


H.R. 4969, the “Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2014″

Greetings –

As you may know, ARRL recently worked with members of the United States House of Representatives to successfully introduce a bipartisan bill that would extend PRB-1 coverage to homeowners’ association regulations and deed restrictions (also known as “covenants, conditions, and restrictions”, or CC&Rs). Presently, PRB-1 only applies to state and local zoning laws and ordinances. The next crucial step for H.R. 4969, the “Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2014″, is to gain co-sponsors (*not* votes) in the US House.  The more co-sponsors, the more support the legislation has, and the better the chances of its passing.

Details about this development can be found at:

This is a call to action for all ARRL members in Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District to contact your Congressman — Rep Jared Polis
–, inform him of this bi-partisan legislation, and kindly request that he sign on to it as a co-sponsor.  Please cut and paste the sample email below (or compose a similar one of your own, if preferred) –
FIRST MAKING SURE THAT YOU ADD YOUR NAME TO THE SIGNATURE — and email it to Rep Polis using the Congressional email form at:


Within the page above, fill in the required fields and paste the letter in the “Message Text” field. If asked for the issue you’re writing about, select the “Science and Technology” category.  In the Subject box, enter “Please cosponsor H.R. 4969″.

Please forward a copy of your correspondence to me for my records and so I can summarize the level of response from members of the Rocky Mountain Division to ARRL’s  government relations firm on Capitol Hill who is advocating on our behalf within the halls of Congress (please do not CC me in your original email to your Congressman; forward me a separate copy afterwards).

The sample email below concludes by inviting questions your Congressman may have.  If you are contacted by your Congressman or his staff, and aren’t quite comfortable answering their questions about the legislation, please contact me and I will be happy to provide you with guidance.

Finally, if by chance you know your Congressman personally, or any of his/her staff, please contact me immediately.

Thank you and 73,
Brian Mileshosky
ARRL Director, Rocky Mountain Division

- – – – – – – – – – – – – – -

Dear Congressman Polis,

I am a constituent in your District and wish to bring an important issue to your attention.  I am a federally licensed Amateur Radio operator, one of over 3,350 whom reside in your District.  We provide wireless communications support for community events; provide public service, search-and-rescue, severe weather, and disaster communications for local governmental agencies and non-governmental agencies (NGO) such as the Red Cross and Salvation Army; provide communications support to the United States military through its Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS); for our neighbors when mainstream communications degrade or become inoperable; and contribute towards the advancement of wireless communications as developers and experimenters of new, novel, and further efficient means of communicating and transferring information.

Our ability to conduct the above public services is hindered by prohibitions that disallow the placement of even the simplest antenna on our property.

Recently a bi-partisan Bill, H.R. 4969 (the “Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2014″), was introduced by Rep Kinzinger (R-IL) and Rep Courtney (D-CT) which would extend the ability to properly negotiate with developments that have restrictions which routinely preclude Amateur Radio operators from putting up even a barely visible wire antenna in a tree.  We already have this ability with local zoning ordinances; however an extension of similar reasonable accommodation to federally licensed individuals residing under land use restrictions remains sorely needed.

As your constituent, I am asking that you support H.R. 4969 by signing on to it as a co-sponsor. Please contact Rep. Kinzinger’s office to do so.

Should you have any questions about Amateur Radio or the importance of this legislation, please contact me.  Thank you.


(*** Add your full name here ***)

ARRL Rocky Mountain Division
Director: Brian P Mileshosky, N5ZGT


Youth in Amateur Radio

The August issue of WorldRadio Magazine has a great article featuring Carole Perry’s (WB2MGP) Youth in Amateur Radio Forum this year at the Dayton HAMvention. This was Carole’s 25th year of presenting the Youth Forum and for that I congratulate her. Once again, one of the Youth Forum presenter’s was from the BARC Juniors (Boulder Amateur Radio Club). Gary Bailey, KDØTRO, age 10 was the youngest speaker at the Forum and he WOW’d them with his presentation on “Radio’s and Components I have built and tested”. See the link below on this year’s Youth Forum and the talented young hams.

 World Radio Magazine – August 2013


The Internet hasn’t buried amateur radio, but some wonder:

Will young people keep the hobby alive?

Ham radio alive and well in Boulder County

By: Tony Kindelspire – Longmont Times-Call 



There is an excellent book called “From Crystal Sets to Sideband” written by long time Boulder Amateur Radio Club member, Frank Harris, KØIYE in 2002 and last updated in 2011. It’s a wonderful work of more than 400 pages starting with basic electricity working all the way up to design considerations for homebrew sideband rigs and beyond. Full of great photos, diagrams and humorous cartoons, it’s an entertaining read as well as a great reference sourcebook…and it’s FREE! KØIYE graciously and generously donated it to the public. Thanks to Four State QRP and QRPARCI it’s available to be downloaded and printed freely at http://www.wa0itp.com/crystalsetsssb.html 

A very nice write up about the author, Frank, KØIYE appeared in this World Radio Magazine Article in May 2011


2014/2015 ARRL HAMFESTs and CONVENTIONS                     

Links to websites belonging to the above events are found on the Rocky Mountain Division site: http://www.RockyMountainDivision.org 
If you’re organizing a Hamfest, convention, or tailgate we encourage you to apply for ARRL-sanctioning. Sanctioning contains many benefits, and details can be found at http://www.arrl.org/hamfest-convention-application


is on line
The DRC posts a complete list of local ham nets on their site. The link is: http://www.w0tx.org/netlist.htm




In case you were wondering….

The Boulder A-Index Explained:

The geomagnetic A-index is derived from the K-index, which quantifies disturbances in the horizontal component of earth’s magnetic field, using a 0-9 integer scale.  K and A indices are indicators of ionospheric radio propagation conditions.

A value of 1 on the K-index indicates calm and 5 or more indicates a geomagnetic storm.  The K-index is derived from the maximum fluctuations of horizontal components observed on a magnetometer, during a three-hour interval.

The A-index provides an average level for geomagnetic activity.  Because K scale magnetometer fluctuations are non-linear, quasi-logarithmic, it is not meaningful to take averages for a set of K-indices.  Instead, each K is converted back into a linear scale called the equivalent three hourly range “a”-index (lower case “a”).  The daily A-index is an average of eight “a”-indices.

For many years, local hams had access to an A-index published for Boulder, Colorado.  Although the formal “Boulder A-Index” is no longer officially published, the magnetometer used to provide it is still operational.  Below, are web links to current Boulder A-index data.

Real-Time Geomagnetic and Solar Indices (NOAA)


12-Hour Boulder Magnetometer Monitor (USGS)


*  K-Index, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K-index

Sources: * Steenburg, Rob, 2013, “Space Weather for Radio Amateurs”, NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center (Presentation to the Boulder Amateur Radio Club, March


Latest Lafayette, Colorado, weather conditions and forecast

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