ARATS W2VCI Meeting ID: Arats Amateur Radio Association (ARATS) is located at Fire Headquarts 495 Zimmerman Street in North Tonawanda NY. Arats is part of North Tonawanda Emergency Services

Operating as usual

Annual Armed Forces Day Cross-Band Exercise Set for May 1403/10/2022The 2022 running of the Armed Forces Day (AFD) Cross...

Annual Armed Forces Day Cross-Band Exercise Set for May 14
The 2022 running of the Armed Forces Day (AFD) Cross-Band exercise will be held on May 14, 1300 – 2200 UTC. A complete list of participating stations, modes, frequencies, times, and other details will be announced on April 1. The event is open to all radio amateurs. Armed Forces Day is May 21, but the AFD Cross-band military-amateur radio event traditionally takes place 1 week earlier, in order to avoid conflicting with Dayton Hamvention®. During the exercise, radio amateurs listen for stations on military operating frequencies and transmit on frequencies in adjacent amateur bands.

Military and amateur stations have taken part in this event for more than 50 years. It’s an exercise scenario, designed to include ham radio and government radio operators alike.

Per previous announcements: “The AFD Cross-band Test is a unique opportunity to test two-way communications between military communicators and radio stations in the Amateur Radio Service, as authorized in 47 CFR 97.111. These tests provide opportunities and challenges for radio operators to demonstrate individual technical skills in a tightly controlled exercise scenario that does not impact any public or private communications.”

Military stations in various locations will transmit on selected military frequencies and announce the specific ham band frequencies they are monitoring.

An AFD message will be transmitted utilizing the Military Standard (MIL-STD) serial PSK waveform (M110), followed by MIL-STD Wide Shift FSK (850 Hz RTTY), as described in MIL-STD 188-110A/B. The AFD message will also be sent in CW and RTTY.

Full details will be released on April 1.

Photo Gallery

The K7RA Solar Update03/18/2022Tad Cook, K7RA, of Seattle, Washington, reports: We saw plenty of sunspot activity this w...
P.J. DYER - WA5IYX - VHF Propagation

The K7RA Solar Update
Tad Cook, K7RA, of Seattle, Washington, reports: We saw plenty of sunspot activity this week, along with numerous solar flares. A confounding indicator was a higher average solar flux but lower average sunspot numbers. We expect to see these parameters track together, but that isn’t always the case.

The average daily sunspot number went from 87.4 last week to 74.6 in the latest reporting period, March 10 – 16.

The average daily solar flux increased from 115.5 to 119.

A new sunspot group appeared on March 12, another on March 13, and two more on March 14. The total sunspot area (expressed in millionths of the solar disc) declined throughout the week, starting at 1,170 on March 10, then 1,080, 1,040, 940, 670, 490, and 290. So, the decline continued even through days that revealed new sunspots.

March 13 had the greatest geomagnetic disturbance, with the middle latitude A index at 30, the planetary A index at 40, and Alaska’s college A index at 65. The A index is calculated from the K index, updated every 3 hours. In Alaska, the K was 0 in the first three readings, at 0000, 0300, and 0600 UTC, before jumping dramatically to 5, 7, 7, and 5 for the rest of the day. The K index is logarithmic, and 7 is a very big number, indicating a geomagnetic storm.

The solar flux prediction peaks at 125 on April 6 – 8, but starting today, the predicted flux is 108 on March 18 – 19; 95 on March 20 – 26; 100 on March 27 – 28; 110 on March 29 – 30; 115 on March 31; then 120, 115, and 120 on April 1 – 3; 115 on April 4 – 5; 125 on April 6 – 8; 120 on April 9 – 11; 115 on April 12 – 14; 110 on April 15 – 17; 100 on April 18; then 95 on April 19 – 22, and 100 on April 23 – 24.

Predicted planetary A index is 10 on March 18 – 19; then 15, 12, and 8 on March 20 – 22; 5 on March 23 – 25; 10 and 8 on March 26 – 27; 5 on March 28 – 30; 10, 25, 15, and 8 on March 31 – April 3; 5 on April 4 – 15; 12 on April 16 – 17; 8 on April 18; then 5 on April 19 – 21, and 10 and 8 on April 22 – 23.

The vernal equinox will occur at 1533 UTC on Sunday, March 20 — a good sign for HF propagation as we move from winter to spring conditions in the Northern Hemisphere.

From F.K. Janda, OK1HH:

“Undoubtedly, the most dramatic phenomenon of the past 7 days was the arrival of a CME [coronal mass ejection] on March 13, which broke away from the sun on March 10 – 11. It caused a medium [G2] geomagnetic storm. In its positive phase, [MUF] values increased during the UTC afternoon until evening, while the overall ionospheric propagation of decameter waves improved overall. In the negative phase that followed on March 14 – 15, they deteriorated significantly. A return to normal has been observed since March 16.

“A CME could do more than just ignite the bright aurora borealis. It also lowered the level of cosmic rays. A neutron monitor at the Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory in Oulu, Finland, saw a sharp decline in cosmic rays shortly after the CME arrived. It’s called the ‘Forbush Decline,’ named after the American physicist Scott Forbush, who studied cosmic rays in the early 20th century. It happens when a cloud of coronal matter pushes galactic cosmic rays away from our planet. The cosmic rays fell sharply on March 13, then rose sharply at noon on March 14, then fell sharply again. We attribute this fluctuation to the more complex structure of the CME cloud. The cosmic rays remained depressed for 2, partly to 4, days after the arrival of the CME.

“The consequences of the coming of a CME in Earth’s magnetosphere and ionosphere were now, near the vernal equinox, more pronounced than they would have been at any other time of year.”

I (K7RA) was experimenting with FT8 and PSKreporter on Friday, March 11, on 10 meters and noticed at 2145 UTC that my low-power signal (with a very modest antenna) was heard over a narrow arc running from northern Virginia and central Texas, plus reports from two stations in New Zealand and several in South America. Fifteen minutes later, the only report was from K1HTV in Virginia. By 2224 UTC, the only reports were from two local western Washington stations, at 4 and 54 miles away.

On March 15, using the same setup on 10 meters at 1651 UTC, the only station outside the local area hearing me was XE1ACA, 2,344 miles away.

Often when coverage is marginal on 10 meters, 12 meters will be open.

At 1730 UTC on 12 meters, I was heard over a broad arc of stations 1,800 – 2,400 miles away, running from New Hampshire to south Texas, plus XE2BCS and XE1GK at 1,757 and 2,003 miles, and NH6Y in Hawaii at 2,654 miles. That arc of coverage was only 600 miles wide.

On March 14, VE1VDM reported unstable 10-meter conditions. “As of 1600 UTC [1 PM local] today, I have not had one RBN report on 28.173 MHz, nor one WSPR report on 28.126.130 MHz,” he said. “The band has really tanked here in Nova Scotia.”

Jon Jones, N0JK, reported on March 13:

“Larry, N0LL (EM09), decoded a number of South American stations on 50.313 MHz FT8 around 0040 UTC March 13. These included CE3SX (FF46), CE0YHF/CE3, CE2SV, and LU5FF. Larry was away from the radio when this occurred. [I] suspect an Es link to TEP [transequatorial propagation]. He then worked XE2TT (DL44) on Es at 0117 UTC. I monitored during this time frame. No South [American stations were contacted], but [I] did decode K3VN (EL98) around 0050 UTC on Es.”

Also from Jon on the same day:

“A rare March sporadic-E opening on 6 meters [occurred on] the afternoon of March 11, from Kansas to W1, W2, W3, and W8.

“Here in Lawrence, I worked K3ISH (FN21) and KE8FD (EN80) on 50.313 MHz FT8 around 2100 UTC, [and copied] a few others.

“WQ0P (EM19) was in a better spot for it. He worked W1, W2, W3, W4, and W8.

“No rare DX, but any sporadic-E opening in March is noteworthy. The month of March has the lowest occurrence of sporadic E of any month of the year (see:

“If the Es cloud had been located to the southeast [there could have been] a potential link-up with afternoon TEP. [I] did not see anyone working South America.”

A tribute to Maunder — of Maunder Minimum fame — and his wife, “Astronomer couple honoured with English Heritage blue plaque,” appeared in the UK’s Oxford Mail.

David Moore sent this obituary of pioneering astronomer Eugene Parker — “Eugene Parker, astrophysicist namesake of NASA’s Parker Solar Probe, dies at 94” — which appeared in

Check out the latest video from Tamitha Skov, WX6SWW, the Space Weather Woman.

Sunspot numbers for March 10 – 16 were 90, 81, 93, 64, 82, 71, and 41, with a mean of 74.6. The 10.7-centimeter flux was 127.1, 126.5, 124.7, 122.9, 114.9, 110.4, and 106.6, with a mean of 119. Estimated planetary A indices were 10, 20, 13, 40, 14, 7, and 5, with a mean of 15.6. Middle latitude A index was 7, 15, 7, 30, 13, 5, and 3, with a mean of 11.4.

For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the ARRL Technical Information Service, read “What the Numbers Mean…,” and check this propagation page by Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA.

A propagation bulletin archive is available. Instructions for starting or ending email distribution of ARRL bulletins are on the ARRL website.

For customizable propagation charts, visit the VOACAP Online for Ham Radio website.

ARRL member Tad Cook, K7RA, has been writing the weekly ARRL Propagation Bulletins since 1991. Share your reports and observations.


Spring 2022 Training Schedule

Note: Spring training covers severe thunderstorm and tornado formation, flooding, severe weather safety, and how to report to the NWS.

All of the scheduled training sessions will cover the same material



7 PM Online

Registration Required!

NWS Buffalo

Click Here for Registration



7 PM Online

Registration Required!

NWS Buffalo

Click Here for Registration



7 PM Online

Registration Required!

NWS Buffalo

Click Here for Registration



7 PM Online

Registration Required!

NWS Buffalo

Click Here for Registration



11 AM Online

Registration Required!

NWS Buffalo

Click Here for Registration
Here are the Skywarn Classes for 2022, Sign up today and take advantage of free online training from the buffalo office weather service!
To sign up go to Skywarn page then go find classes in your area!

Other links

Western and Northern NY SKYWARN™ frequency map

An illustrated SKYWARN™ spotter guide

Other SKYWARN™ Sites:

NWS Binghamton SKYWARN™ Homepage

NWS Cleveland SKYWARN™ Homepage

NWS Albany SKYWARN™ Homepage

NWS Burlington SKYWARN™ Homepage



ARATS THURSDAY NIGHT 2 METER NET TONIGHT AT 8:30pm146.955 PL 151.4 -offset.

146.955 PL 151.4 -offset.




Axiom Private Astronaut Mission Crew Will Conduct ARISS School Contacts
Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS-USA) has announced that two crew members scheduled to fly on Axiom Mission-1 (Ax-1) — the first private astronaut mission to the International Space Station (ISS) — will carry out amateur radio contacts with six schools while in space. The Ax-1 mission is currently set to launch from Florida on March 30 via a SpaceX Falcon 9 launcher, and the crew will spend 10 days in orbit on board the ISS. Ax-1 crew members Mark Pathy, KO4WFH, from Canada, and Eytan Stibbe, 4Z9SPC, from Israel, will carry out the contacts. ARISS has trained both crew members in the use of the ARISS radio system in the ISS Columbus module.

As part of the “Rakia” mission, Stibbe will use ARISS facilities on board the ISS to answer questions from middle school and high school students in Israel. Forty classes are expected to participate, and in the weeks preceding the launch, the students will learn a bit about the theory and practice of radio communication.

Pathy, whose personal mission theme is “caring for people and the planet,” will connect with elementary and high schoolers across Canada from the ISS. Pathy will answer student-developed questions that range from how his body has reacted to being in space to handling everyday tasks in zero gravity, as well as “thoughtful questions around the state of our planet.”

“The long-held dream of private missions to stations in space becomes a reality on Ax-1,” said Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, Executive Director of ARISS-USA and Chair of ARISS International. “ARISS is proud to collaborate with Axiom Space, Mark Pathy, and Eytan Stibbe on this flight and support the Ax-1 crew members through amateur radio contacts that will inspire, engage, and educate school students in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) topics.”

Mary Lynne Dittmar, Executive Vice President of Government Operations and Strategic Communications for Axiom Space, said, “Axiom is proud to help enable the educational work of ARISS-USA on this historic mission. For years, ARISS and its programs have inspired students across the globe to pursue interests in science, technology, engineering, and math, and we are pleased that Ax-1 will join the list of missions that have contributed to this important educational work.”

The Ax-1 mission includes an international crew of four, with Axiom’s Michael López-Alegría, ex-KE5GTK, a former NASA astronaut and now an Axiom Vice President. López -Alegría will serve as mission commander. The fourth crew member, Larry Connor, will serve as the pilot.

“The goal for the Ax-1 crew is to set a standard for all future private astronaut missions in terms of our preparation and professionalism,” López-Alegría said in a NASA news release.

Down the road, Axiom will build modules that will attach to the ISS. Axiom will fly its own Hub One space station in the future.

Photo Gallery


Ukraine Maintains Ham Radio Silence in State of Emergency
Radio amateurs in Ukraine appear to be diligently maintaining radio silence as the state of emergency declared there just prior to the Russian military invasion remains in effect. A February 24 decree from President Volodymyr Zelensky included “a ban on the operation of amateur radio transmitters for personal and collective use.” The Ukraine Amateur Radio League (UARL/LRU) reported this past week that it has received many messages of encouragement from the worldwide amateur radio community.

“The LRU informed international amateur radio organizations about Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine,” said the message from UARL Vice President Anatoly Kirilenko, UT3UY. “To date, there have been many reports from radio amateurs around the world in support of Ukraine.”

The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) has adopted a neutral stance. “IARU is an apolitical organization focused on promoting and defending amateur radio and the amateur radio services,” the IARU said. “The amateur radio service is about self-instruction in communications and friendship between people.” IARU Region 1 has said it continues to monitor the development and expects all radio amateurs “to follow their national laws and regulations.”

IARU Region 1 also re-posted part of an advisory from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club (DARC) HF Committee on February 27. “Any radio amateur currently transmitting from Ukraine is risking his or her life. If you hear a Ukrainian station, do not broadcast its call sign, location, or frequency — whether on the band, in a cluster, or on social media. You may be putting lives at risk.” The DARC’s overarching advice: “In the current situation, the best we can do is listen.”

Ukraine’s assigned amateur radio call sign prefixes include EMA – EOZ and the more commonplace URA – UZZ. Some stations with Ukrainian call signs may still be active, because an exception to the amateur radio ban was made for stations in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine (eastern Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts), which have special legal status owing to Russia’s occupation since 2014.

In a Facebook post, Poland’s IARU member-society PZK has offered available Winlink nodes in Poland for any licensed refugees. If you are a licensed amateur radio operator, you can send information by email to your relatives in Poland or Emergency Services via the Winlink system. Polish Winlink nodes are active on 160, 80, and 20 meters: SR5WLK, 3.5955 MHz USB; SR3WLK, 14.111 MHz USB, and SP3IEW, 1.865 MHz USB.

W9IMS, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Amateur Radio Club — known for its special events commemorating major races at the Speedway — has posted a statement on its profile expressing its concern for well-known QSL maker Gennady V. Treus, UX5UO. The statement reads in part, “His last email to us said: ‘This moment we are safe, but we hear strong explosions near Kyiv. Do not know what will happen in nearest hours/days.’ We have not heard from him for days now. We are greatly concerned for Gennady and his family along with all the other citizens of Ukraine.” — Thanks to The Daily DX, PZK, and to Brian D. Smith, W9IND, for some information


495 Zimmerman Street
North Tonawanda, NY


Be the first to know and let us send you an email when ARATS W2VCI posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The Business

Send a message to ARATS W2VCI:


ARATS-Amateur Radio Association of the Tonawanda’s. Our E.O.C. is located in the Basement of the North Tonawanda Fire Dept.

Welcome to our site and thank you for visiting our page, our club is located in North Tonawanda New York with 40 paid members. Our Board of Directors holds meetings on the second Saturday of every month and our monthly meetings are held every third Wednesday at 7:30 pm, meetings are held at Tonawanda City Hall. Our EOC is located at the North Tonawanda Fire HQ. 495 Zimmerman Street, North Tonawanda NY. We provide emergency communications for the North Tonawanda Fire Dept. and our Police Dept. Our mission statement is the promotion of amateur radio as well as the education and good will to our members and our community. We are always looking for new members so if you are interested in becoming a licensed Amateur Radio Operator please call one of our board members, for more information please visit

Arats 10 Meter Net Tuesday Nights at 8 pm 28.330.oo USB

Arats 2 Meter Net Thursday Nights at 8:30 pm, 146.955 PL 151.5 - Off Set.

Nearby government services


I inherited my fathers radio after his passing. I’m looking for an antenna that I can use on a small apartment patio. I’m brand new to radios, any help would be appreciated!
With Field Day this weekend, I wanted to take the opportunity to remind everyone that you can earn up to 200 points towards your Field Day Score through Traffic Handling. 100 points can be earned for formal messages handled over RF during Field Day with each radiogram being worth 10 points. There are also 100 bonus points available for originating a formal message to your ARRL Section Manager, Laura N2LJM or Section Emergency Coordinator, Joe KC2DKP. This Section Manager message is a separate bonus and doesn't count towards the 10 messages. You can refer to the Field Day Rules posted on the ARRL website for the official details at We'd love to help any of our local clubs with achieving these points. You can reach out to either of our Section Traffic Managers if you have any questions or would like help constructing or passing a radiogram. Matt K2EAG WNY Section Traffic Manager k2eag at arrl dot net Hamshack Hotline 5748 716-six-one-six-0188 Andy W2ZXN WNY Assistant Section Traffic Manager w2zxn at arrl dot net Hamshack Hotline 11359 315-two-one-nine-2219 Field Day Rules
The new page looks great! Glad to see Dex's call as the new club call. Dex was a great guy and it's a fitting tribute. I got my Novice through an ARATS class in 1979. My first contacts as a Novice were at an ARATS Field Day where Fred Mess, WB2WUB chaired the Novice station. I served on the board, and edited the Coherer for a while. Great bunch of guys while I was in the club, most of which are probably gone by now. Dex (of course), Fred Mess, Bill Havas, Bob Zimmerman, "Radio Ralph" Janowski, and Kraig Brumbaugh, who taught my Novice class and became my Elmer and best friend for many years before he passed. Lot's more I can't remember. Great times.
My Christmas wish to myself this year is two Final tubes 'used but in good working order' for my Yaesu 901DM. The 12BY7A Driver is new. Not looking to purchase new tubes. I can pick up and pay cash or trade. Thank You! 73 Happy holidays to the ARATS Group! 6146B x 2 Bob Mann Ka2mxh 716-930-8616
My Christmas wish to myself this year is two Final tubes 'used but in good working order' for my Yaesu 901DM. The 12BY7A Driver is new. Not looking to purchase new tubes. I can pick up and pay cash or trade. Thank You! 73 Happy holidays to the ARTS Group! 6146B x 2 Bob Mann Ka2mxh 716-930-8616
Concord, Ohio