Thursday, April 21, 2011

Global Positioning System (GPS) Under Attack

Representatives of a wide variety of industries and companies have joined the Coalition to Save Our GPS to resolve a serious threat to the reliability and viability of the Global Positioning System (GPS) - a national utility upon which millions of Americans rely every day.

To safeguard GPS, the Coalition seeks a number of remedies from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which recently granted a waiver to a company called LightSquared that allows them to repurpose the satellite spectrum immediately neighboring that of the GPS.

LightSquared plans to transmit ground-based radio signals that would be one billion or more times more powerful as received on earth than GPS's low-powered satellite-based signals, potentially causing severe interference impacting millions of GPS receivers - including those used by the federal agencies, state and local governments, first responders, airlines, mariners, civil engineering, construction and surveying, agriculture, and everyday consumers in their cars and on handheld devices.

For further information on this issue and to voice your concern please go to the Coalitions website:

D-STAR Infrastructure Promotion

Program Details:
From April 25, 2011 — May 9, 2011, your club can purchase directly from Icom America Inc, either a 2m or 70cm D-STAR repeater for US$3,000 (plus freight and applicable taxes).

Repeater Components in this program for $3,000
RF Module
Gateway Software
ID-RP2000V or ID-RP4000V

Bonus: If you can meet the following requirements within 90-days from the date of purchase, Icom will refund the original purchase price (US$3000).

  • Install in permanent location identified at the time of purchase
  • Fully operational on the USROOT trust server with Icom G2 Gateway Software and within the requirements outlined by the USROOT Administration team
  • Minimum of 10 users registered on the "Gateway"
  • Guarantee system on air for minimum of 1 year from date of installation

This program is limited to the first 70 qualifying clubs located in priority areas listed below or not within an existing D-STAR Repeater (100 Aeronautical Mile Radius). Send a club biography and an outline of how D-STAR will be used in your community to see if your club qualifies.

Priority areas:

Washington (Eastern)Western TexasKentucky
IdahoNevada (North)Illinois (Southern)
MontanaNorth DakotaIndiana (Southern)
WyomingSouth DakotaArkansas
New MexicoMinnesota (Northern)Nebraska
New York (Up State)Wisconsin (Northern)Kansas

This promotion is for U.S. residents only. Applicants cannot be affiliated with employees of Icom, Inc., including any parent, subsidiary or entity affiliated with Icom, Inc. or the distribution channels of Icom products.

For more information about the D-STAR Promotion:

For more information on D-STAR:

For more information on registering on the gateway:
Refer to the document "Joining the Network" on

My Stamp Collecting Blog

Counter Added January 1, 2011

free counters


The A index [ LOW is GOOD ]

  • 1 to 6 is BEST
  • 7 to 9 is OK
  • 11 or more is BAD

Represents the overall geomagnetic condition of the ionosphere ("Ap" if averaged from the Kp-Index) (an average of the eight 3-hour K-Indices) ('A' referring to amplitude) over a given 24 hour period, ranging (linearly) typically from 1-100 but theoretically up to 400.

A lower A-Index generally suggests better propagation on the 10, 12, 15, 17, & 20 Meter Bands; a low & steady Ap-Index generally suggest good propagation on the 30, 40, 60, 80, & 160 Meter Bands.

SFI index [ HIGH is GOOD ]

  • 70 NOT GOOD
  • 80 GOOD
  • 90 BETTER
  • 100+ BEST

The measure of total radio emissions from the sun at 10.7cm (2800 MHz), on a scale of 60 (no sunspots) to 300, generally corresponding to the sunspot level, but being too low in energy to cause ionization, not related to the ionization level of the Ionosphere.

Higher Solar Flux generally suggests better propagation on the 10, 12, 15, 17, & 20 Meter Bands; Solar Flux rarely affects the 30, 40, 60, 80, & 160 Meter Bands.

K index [ LOW is GOOD ]

  • 0 or 1 is BEST
  • 2 is OK
  • 3 or more is BAD
  • 5 is VERY VERY BAD

The overall geomagnetic condition of the ionosphere ("Kp" if averaged over the planet) over the past 3 hours, measured by 13 magnetometers between 46 & 63 degrees of latitude, and ranging quasi-logarithmically from 0-9. Designed to detect solar particle radiation by its magnetic effect. A higher K-index generally means worse HF conditions.

A lower K-Index generally suggests better propagation on the 10, 12, 15, 17, & 20 Meter Bands; a low & steady Kp-Index generally suggest good propagation on the 30, 40, 60, 80, & 160 Meter Bands.

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