I hope this finds everyone doing well.
An important event will be coming up Saturday and Sunday. What is it?
The Zamora Shrine Temple will host the 2014 Birminghamfest. Dealers, vendors, flea market, testing, and forums they will have it all.
ALERT & The NWS will have a table & there will be an ALERT/NWS Forum at 12 Noon in Room #1.
Come by the ALERT/NWS table & say “hi” & don’t be shy about sitting the table for a little while, as we need some brave souls who will donate an hour or two of their time and help man the table. If you can help, please do so.
This month’s ALERT meeting March 11 will feature the selection of the two person Nominating Committee for the upcoming elections in May.
Please plan on attending this meeting & don’t be shy about volunteering to serve on the Committee or to make yourself available for a leadership role. We need some of our newer members to step up and become active members of ALERT’s leadership. All it takes is a willing heart and once elected a commitment to faithfully fulfill your duties of office to the best of your abilities.
We need you to be actively involved in ALERT’s leadership and to help us build a strong ALERT organization for the future.
Your time has arrived.
Your ALERT needs you.
The ALERT Sunday Night Net
The ALERT Sunday Night Net meets every Sunday at 7PM on 146.880.
This net, originally called the BARC Sunday Night Net was created in 1996 by Glenn Glass, KE4YZK. He served as Net Manager for several years, followed by Mark Nichols, K7NOA. I became Net Manager in 2001 and have served in that position for 13 years.
In 2011 the Birmingham Amateur Radio Club donated the net to ALERT for ALERT promotion and visibility.
It is an unusual net, in that it is a “discussion net”, not an emergency net and not really a training net, per se, though we do try to slip in training into the mix.
Occasionally I am asked if I can provide a copy of the preamble and so here it is:
ALERT Sunday Night Net Preamble
Calling all radio amateurs
This is (call sign) with the ALERT Sunday Night Net.
This net meets each Sunday night at 7 pm local time on 146.88 MHz with a PL of 88.5 Hz
We meet for discussion of any topic of general interest to radio amateurs.
This net is sponsored by ALERT – the Alabama Emergency Response Team.
You don’t have to be a member of ALERT to participate and I invite all
properly licensed amateurs to check in.
This is a controlled net and will be called by prefix.
I am (call sign), my name is (……….) located in (………..) and I will be your net
control station for this evening.
Do we have a station who can act as alternate net control should this station malfunction?
Do we have any emergency of priority traffic?
Do we have any business or announcements for the net tonight?
We will start our check-ins.
When checking in please give the call signs slowly and phonetically
Using standard phonetics
Do we have any portables or mobiles?
Then call K4, KA, KB, KC, KD, KE, KF, KG, KI, KJ & KK calls.
Then call W’s, N’s A’s and then any call any prefix.
(Pass any announcements, swap shop or comments.)
We will standby now for any late stations.
Please give your call slowly & phonetically.
This will be any call or any prefix.
If anyone has comments concerning the net or would like to volunteer
To be a net control station, please contact the Net Manager Mark WD4NYL
He can be contacted on 88, at the ALERT meetings or by email at WD4NYL@bellsouth.net
Final call for late stations.
Is there anything this net or this station can do for anyone before we close?
(Thank everyone for checking in and invited them to join again next week.)
I’m looking for some brave, adventurous souls to serve as Net Control Stations.
It’s an excellent opportunity for “on the job training” as an emergency NCS, during a non-emergency situation, a good way to become familiar with others in our ham community, and its fun. Otherwise I would have shed the thing a long, long time ago.
So step up, be daring and give it a try.
Just let me know that you are willing, and we will work out the details.
You won’t regret that you did!
Newsletter Help Wanted
In July 2007 as I began the first or my four terms as ALERT President, one of the first things I
wished to accomplish was the implementation of this newsletter. The ALERT newsletter was intended to serve several purposes. Among others, it was intended to be a method of keeping everyone “in the loop” of ALERT happenings and news, and it was to serve as a training tool. It was also intended to be friendly spam to remind everyone the ALERT was still in business and to help keep ALERT in everyone’s mind. A gentle “tap on the shoulder” saying “we’re still here”.
Our newsletter is one of the few newsletters still being published. Many other newsletters that were once ham radio mainstays are just now fleeting memories.
This is the eighty first ALERT Newsletter that I’ve generated, but, this is YOUR newsletter, and as such it needs your contribution and input.
I need articles and ideas for the newsletter.
Examples may include your stories of the times you may have deployed during an emergency, either to K4NWS or with another organization. What you experienced, what you learned. Those of you who are “technically minded” might show us how to make an emergency antenna or power supply. Or you might share why you are involved with emergency preparedness, etc.
Any article is welcome. Naturally, I will reserve the right to edit the submission, but please to send some material for our newsletter.
If you ever get tired of Old Mark harping on why we don’t need to pass “leaf debris reports”, why you really do need an emergency kit and that the Sun is due to rise in the east this month, then I invite and urge you to send me some articles.
You’re infusion of fresh ideas and materials will help me on those occasions when the wellspring of inspiration dries into dust.
Please submit to email@example.com
Thanks in advance.
One of the nice features of the BMXSpotterchat & the ABC3340 Spotterchat is that products issued by
the NWS are relayed “real-time” by the Iowa Environmental Mesonet “IEMBOT”.
These products often arrive seconds to minute or two before they are issued by NOAA Weather radio or EMA sirens are activated. This can provide invaluable lead time, either for emergency responders or for personal preparation.
Not everyone may wish to participate in the chatrooms. Or, perhaps you may not have access to a computer with Pidgin installed.
But, there is good news for you though, in that this information is available online at http://weather.im/iembot/
On this site you can choose which Forecast Offices you wish to monitor under “Available Rooms”, for instance you can choose “BMXCHAT” and you will see the text field filled with the most recent products issued by the Birmingham office.
These products differ slightly from those issued by the NWSBOT on the BMXEMACHAT. Namely, “Free Text Messages” won’t appear. These usually deal with radar site statuses.
Try the IEMBOT Monitor, I’ll bet you’ll be glad you did!
Originally called Martius, March is the third month & first month of the Roman calendar. March is named for Mars, the god of war, and was the start of the military campaign season.
The beginning of “Meteorological Spring”, which is based on changes in temperature and precipitation, not the solar angle, is March 1
March is a wet month. Most floods occur in March and rainfall averages around 6 inches.
Tornadic activity sharply increases in March with there being an increase of 2.2 times the number of tornadoes over the February amount. The focal point for this tornadic activity is the Gulf States.
March is the hail maximum for the Deep South. This is due both to the number of thunderstorms & due to the freezing level still being near the surface. This allows hail to form at lower altitudes and reach the ground intact, as opposed to summer months, when the near surface level temperatures are higher and melts the hail into liquid before impact.
Killing frosts are gone and the last average frost is on March 16.
March is a snow month for Alabama & there is a 45% chance of snow up to one inch, and an 8% chance of one inch or more.
The good news is that there is hope on the horizon as Spring will arrive at Vernal Equinox on March 20 at 16:57 UTC or 11:57 A.M. CDT.
Remember to get the eggs out, as it is said that you can stand eggs on their ends at the hour of equinox.
Daylight Savings Time begins at 2AM March 9. So remember to “spring forward”.
Where did Daylight Savings Time originate?
The modern concept of Daylight Savings Time was first proposed in 1895 by entomologist George Vernon Hudson of New Zealand, so it would give him more leisure time to collect insects. He actually proposed a two hour time shift.
It was first implemented during The First World War by Germany and their Austria-Hungarian allies, to conserve coal usage. Britain and her allies eventually adopted the same scheme.
The idea of Daylight Savings Time is both praised and criticized. To its credit, it is said that it benefits retail, sports and other activities. While to its debit it is said to harm evening entertainment, sun related occupations such as farming, not to mention complicating time keeping, travel schedules and sleep patterns.
As to its effect on energy conservation, research has revealed contradictory results. One example being that the energy saved by an hour extra sunlight in the evening is offset by the energy needed to cope with an extra hour of darkness in the morning.
An added complication is that not all countries or parts of all countries observed Daylight Savings Time or even implement it on the same date.
Most of North America and Europe, Chile, parts of Brazil and Eastern Australia observe Daylight Savings Time, while it has been tried and abandoned by Asia, most of South America, North Africa Western & Northern Australia.
Complicating things further is the fact that the beginning and ending dates are roughly reverse in the Southern Hemisphere. An example of this problem is central Brazil, where in 2008 depending on the date it was one, two or three hours ahead of the eastern US. In Chile the time difference between the United Kingdom and mainland Chile may be five hours during the Northern summer, three hours during the Northern winter and four hours a few weeks per year because of mismatch of changing dates.
One fact seldom considered is the population density of the Earth, and the fact that most of the world’s population is concentrated in Asia, which no longer observes Daylight Savings Time. So the minority of nations that do use Daylight Savings Time are out of sync with the most of the world’s population.
As you might have gathered, I don’t particularly like Daylight Savings Time. This is because I occasionally delve into amateur astronomy, which means I have to suffer through another hour of daylight before I can observe anything other than contrails. Night Owl discrimination, it is.
Not to mention that this tinkering with the space-time continuum is “bad mojo”.
You can learn a thing or two watching Star Trek, dog gone it.
Saint Patrick’s Day is March 17, and you better participate by wearing a Touch O’ The Green or you will be plagued by leprechauns and gnomes. Not a pleasant experience, I can assure you.
Looking skyward, Mercury is deep in the glow of sunrise.
Venus dominates the predawn sky as the blazing “Morning Star”.
Mars rises around 10 p.m. in Virgo and is highest in the south around 3 or 4 a.m.
Jupiter in Gemini dominates the south in the evening sky.
Saturn in Libra rises around midnight and is highest in the south at the beginning of dawn.
Uranus in Pisces is low in the west after dusk.
Neptune is hidden behind the Sun.
March’s Full Moon is “Worm Moon” in Native American folklore. So called because the rains disturb the earthworms & they are seen wiggling around after the rains.
They are edible by the way, but I think I’ll let you have my share.
This month’s meeting will be on March 11 at 7PM at the National Weather Service Forecast office at the Shelby County Airport.
If for some reason you cannot attend the meeting in person, you can still participate via telephone. The teleconference number is 1-877-951-0997 & and the participant code is 741083.
Hope to see you there!
Mark / WD4NYL