Wormhole Newsletter October 2016

Hello Worms

As many of you already know this will be our last meeting at the Walsingham Park location. Jim found a new location but the County has changed the mind of the manager saying we should never have been allowed to use the house at Walsingham Park in the first place so I guess all county park facilities are out. We thank Jim for his work on getting our current location and now finding a replacement even though his work has now been negated. He has now found a church were we can meet if only temporarily. If you have a good location reasonably close to the Seminole area that has bathroom available, inside meeting in case of rain or very cold weather and has a place for and allows cooking (and a place to store our grill) bring the information with you to the meeting.

Talk-in is on the Wormhole repeater and I will be monitoring the simplex call frequency, 146.52. There is a 30% chance of rain, pretty much normal. Hopefully we will gather outside but there are only two tables so if you have a folding chair handy you might throw it in the car.


By Saira Asher BBC News 21 September 2016

North Korea notoriously restricts access to the internet for its citizens, but it does, in fact, maintain some websites which can be seen outside the country. Most of these sites have always been accessible outside North Korea but on Tuesday an exhaustive list was revealed apparently for the first time – turns out that there aren’t that many.

The list, reportedly unveiled by a US-based engineer, reveals fewer than 30 websites. Predictably, there is propaganda as well as more mundane ministry and tourism information, but you can also find North Korean recipes and films on there.

So how did this great unveiling happen? It went like this: North Korea’s main Domain Name System (DNS) server was sent a frequent and automated request by a US-based engineer for access to all the internet domains in the country, possibly merely out of mischief. The server is usually configured to reject this.

But for some reason – most likely by mistake – it obliged on one occasion, late on Tuesday. The engineer then posted the list online, TechCrunch reports. North Korea watchers and analysts were already familiar with these sites but didn’t know the extent of North Korea’s online presence. “When North Korea brings up a new website they never publicise it. Either someone finds it by accident or it might show up in a search engine,” says Martyn Williams who runs the website North Korea tech from San Francisco. “We knew about most of these, but weren’t sure what else existed”.

For the uninitiated, here’s what you might see on a wander around the North Korean internet. Most of the websites are in Korean, but some like rodong.rep.kp – the site for the main newspaper Rodong Sinmun – have an English site too. It includes a section dedicated to what leader Kim Jong-un might be up to on any given day titled “Supreme Leader’s Activities”. His visit to a fruit farm where he delivered some guidance, presumably on fruit farming, was featured, as was his speech to the Kimilsungist-Kimjongilist Youth Movement.

Of course, his “guiding” of Tuesday’s ground test for a new type of rocket engine to launch satellites dominated the headlines.

“These websites are really there to push North Korea’s voice on the global stage, as if it is a normal member of the international community,” says Mr Williams. “We never know if any of it’s true as there’s no way to verify it independently”. Many of the websites, which can be painfully slow to load, are basic. Many of them are not updated very frequently.

The news-focussed sites are updated daily, but only present state propaganda, says Chad O’Carroll from NK News, a website that monitors North Korean media. He notes that they get very little traffic, are poorly designed and not user friendly.

They make minimal effort to mimic the slick appearance of international news sites. “They don’t try to ape Western media. When you go on the website its obvious its news from North Korea. It’s not dressed up to look like a slick international media outlet,” says Mr Williams.

A food site cooks.org.kp is filled with pictures of “Korea’s famous recipes”. It has a listing of all the main restaurants in North Korea including Okryugwan – the most famous one selling Pyongyang style cold noodle – as well as the Pyongyang Dog Meat Restaurant, which gives away its speciality in its name.

For South Koreans, the food might look a little bland, but the site explains why North Korean food is so good. Answer: “Taste and aroma, beautiful colours, variety and its healthy for the body.”

If you’re in the mood for a film, korfilm.com.kp is a website highlighting North Korea’s film industry. The Pyongyang International Film Festival is happening now and heavily promoted on the site with detailed instructions on how to take part. The three kinds of films you can watch at the festival are “art films, documentaries and animated movies”.

When the engineer who found that momentary chink in the armour posted the list, it sparked a temporary frenzy within the tech forums. But what it doesn’t tell us is anything about North Korea’s intranet – a mysterious and closed system for its citizens that doesn’t connect to the internet, likely to be far more revealing about the workings of the state.


By Dan Romanchik, KB6NU

A couple of weeks ago, I received an e-mail from a reader who wanted my opinion about a thread on the HamRadioHelpGroup mailing list. The e-mail that started the discussion was a message from an American living in Italy who wanted to take the Technician Class exam. In her e-mail, she told of her troubles finding a test session, and then when she did find one, what she perceived as “irregularities” in the testing process. Reading the thread was a little disconcerting, and I blogged about this issue (http://www.kb6nu.com/u-s-amateur-radio-license-exams-given-outside-u-s/).

I understand why foreign national go to the trouble of taking the U.S. license exam. Some of them even buy my study guides. About a year ago, for example, I swapped some e-mail with a guy from Malaysia about why he purchased my study guide and why he wanted a U.S. license. He said that it was because a neighboring country offered reciprocal operating privileges to U.S. licensees, but not Malaysian licensees! He mentioned that he tested for the license in Thailand.

Basically, my Malaysian friend was using the U.S. licensing process to circumvent the Malaysian licensing process. Australians seem to do this, too. Apparently, according to one of the VKs who commented on the thread, getting a U.S. Tech license is easier than testing for an Australian Foundation license. So, some Australians get a U.S. Tech license first, then get the Australian government to issue them a VK Foundation license based on the reciprocal operating agreement between the U.S. and Australia.

Another reason that some outside the U.S. obtain U.S. amateur radio licenses is the challenge. That’s the reason Martin Butler, M0MRB/W9ICQ, of ICQPodcast fame, gave when I spoke to him about this recently.

Are these reasons “good enough” to continue this program of licensing non-U.S. citizens? My first reaction was that no, it’s not good enough, and I questioned whether or not the ARRL VEC should sanction non-U.S. VEs and whether or not the FCC should even allow testing outside of the United States.

I didn’t see the need for conducting these test sessions or the desirability (to the U.S.) of licensing foreign nationals. I reasoned that not only was there a greater possibility of test fraud, this program could lead to foreign authorities claiming that the U.S. was meddling in their affairs.

This post garnered a lot of comments. Several of them took me to task for voicing this opinion and were in favor keeping the current licensing program in place. There were a variety of reasons.

One of the reasons in favor of using the U.S. licensing process is that in many countries, amateur radio license exam sessions are not very frequent. Another is that they often are quite expensive. This creates an artificial barrier to getting an amateur radio license. Using the U.S. licensing system breaks through this barrier and allows many more to enjoy amateur radio.

Of course, for everything to be on the up and up, the foreign authorities would have to condone the use of U.S. license tests. Apparently, this is the case in Thailand and Australia. I don’t know about Italy, but I’m guessing that the authorities there don’t really care about Italians obtaining U.S. licenses.

Perhaps the best comment came from Thida, HS1ASC/KH6ASC. He noted that the tests in Thailand were administered very strictly, and says, “The U.S. may lose some callsigns, but what the U.S. and U.S. hams get from us is goodwill, very positive feeling. Everyone who gets U.S. license is so proud, and others look at them respectfully.” Since Part 97.1(e) lists as one of the purposes of amateur radio, “Continuation and extension of the amateur’s unique ability to enhance international goodwill,” I’m now all in favor of offering U.S. ham tests abroad.


Dan, KB6NU, is the author of the “No Nonsense” amateur radio license study guides, and blogs about amateur radio at KB6NU.Com, and you can contact him by e-mailing cwgeek@kb6nu.com. When he’s not pondering the vagaries of the U.S. licensing system, you’ll find him working CW on the HF bands.


By Nahheke Weltering, LIVESCIENCE September 26, 2016

A new simulation of how Pluto got its “heart” suggests that the dwarf planet most likely has a deep ocean beneath its surface.

Scientists have long suspected that Pluto has liquid water hidden underground. When NASA’s New Horizons mission first set sail to the outskirts of the solar system, scientists were already planning to investigate whether the dwarf planet harbors water.

When New Horizons flew past Pluto in July 2015 and beamed its observations back to Earth, scientists found evidence suggesting that Pluto had water at some point. However, they weren’t sure whether Pluto’s had an existing ocean, or if it had frozen solid over time.

In a new study, scientists have determined that Pluto’s subsurface ocean probably does exist, and that liquid water beneath the dwarf planet’s icy shell is at least 60 miles (100 kilometers) deep and about as salty as the Dead Sea on Earth. For perspective, the deepest part of Earth’s ocean is about 7 miles (11 km) deep, and Earth is about 150 times the size of Pluto.

However, many details about this possible ocean remain elusive.

“Thermal models of Pluto’s interior and tectonic evidence found on the surface suggest that an ocean may exist, but it’s not easy to infer its size or anything else about it,” Brandon Johnson, lead author of the study and an assistant professor at Brown University’s Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences, said in a statement. “We’ve been able to put some constraints on its thickness and get some clues about [its] composition.”

Johnson and his team discovered this information about Pluto’s ocean by simulating the huge asteroid impact that left the flat, icy patch called Sputnik Planum on Pluto’s surface, the western half of Pluto’s famous heart-shaped feature. But first, they had to look at Charon, Pluto’s largest moon. Charon and Pluto are both tidally locked, so they always face each other with the same sides. Sputnik Planum is found on the side of Pluto that constantly faces Charon, and that positioning implies that the area is what scientists call a “positive mass anomaly,” meaning it contains more mass than the rest of Pluto’s surface, on average.

At first, this doesn’t make any sense. The side of Pluto that faces Charon has a gigantic crater, which is “basically a hole in the ground,” Johnson said. “You’re taking a bunch of material and blasting it out, so you expect it to have negative mass anomaly. But that’s not what we see with Sputnik Planum. That got people thinking about how you could get this positive mass anomaly.”

That’s where the asteroid simulation comes in. Brown and his team ran several simulations of a 200-km (125 miles) asteroid — the appropriate size for Sputnik Planum’s 900-km (560 miles) basin — striking Pluto’s icy surface with varying depths of liquid water underneath. During this major impact, the asteroid created a huge dent on Pluto. As the asteroid’s remains bounced off of the surface, Pluto’s interior bounced back, too.

During this rebound, Pluto’s interior was pulled toward the surface at the impact site. If the moving material is dense enough, the weight could make up for the missing mass at the impact site and even out Pluto’s weight distribution. So the side of the dwarf planet that appears as though it should be lighter actually weighs about the same as the other side. This process is called “isostatic compensation,” and it appears to be the reason why Pluto’s dented side is so heavy, the researchers said in the new study; after the asteroid took away Pluto’s icy crust, denser water from Pluto’s interior evened out the missing mass.

But what really tipped the scale for Pluto was the subsequent sea of nitrogen ice that filled Pluto’s heart after the impact: The amount of nitrogen ice in Sputnik Planum doesn’t weigh enough to explain the tidal locking alone, Johnson said.

“This scenario requires a liquid ocean,” Johnson said. “What this tells us is that, if Sputnik Planum is indeed a positive mass anomaly — and it appears as though it is — this ocean layer of at least 100 kilometers has to be there. It’s pretty amazing to me that you have this body so far out in the solar system that still may have liquid water.”

The new work was detailed Sept. 19 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.


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The next meeting is 1100 Saturday morning, October 1 in Walsingham Park. The park is between 102 Ave and Walsingham. If you enter the park from Walsingham the volunteer building where we meet is just inside the gate on the East side. Find the exact location by going to Google maps and entering 27.8797N and 82.8053W. Talk-in is on the Wormhole repeater system.  For those coming to the meeting who cannot hit the repeater we will be monitoring 146.520 simplex, the national calling frequency. We will keep an eye peeled for you. We will take advantage of the cooking facilities with an after-the-meeting Social and wormdog luncheon.

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Check in on the club net Thursdays at 1930.  442.625 + with a 146.2 tone or the 2M side at 146.850 – also with a tone of 146.2.  We are always looking for volunteers to be the net control operator.  Anyone interested, talk to one your club officers.

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1730 147.030 + Receiver sites and tone info http://www.qsl.net/wd4scd/

St Pete Yacht Club ARC St Petersburg

1830 147.060+ no tone St Pete ARC daily net St Petersburg

1900 144.210 USB CARS, vertical polarization Clearwater

1900 147.135 +146.2 Zephyrhills ARC Zephyrhills

2000 147.165+ 136.5 Brandon ARS from Brandon

2000 50.135 Pinellas ARK Pinellas County

2030 NI4CE system EAGLE Net, NTS traffic net, NI4CE system

2030 145.450 Pinellas ARK Pinellas County


1830 147.060 no tone St Pete ARC daily net from St Petersburg

1900 50.200 USB 6M net Brandon ARS

1900 28.450 WCF section net Clearwater

1900 NI4CE system WCF Section VHF ARES NI4CE system

1930 145.170 & 442.4 both pl 156.7 Pinellas ACS net Clearwater

1930 147.060 no tone Buy-Sell net on SPARC also on www.buysellnet.net

1930 444.900 +141.3 Sheriff’s Tactical ARC Tampa

2000 NI4CE system WCF Skywarn net NI4CE system

2000 147.105+ 146.2 Tampa ARC net from Tampa

2000 28.365 USB simplex Brandon ARS

2030 NI4CE system EAGLE Net, NTS traffic net NI4CE system

2100 28.465 USB 10/10 net from Orlando


1830 147.060 no tone St Pete ARC daily net from St Petersburg

1845 147.060 no tone Buy Sell Net from St Petersburg

1930 52.020 simplex Suncoast 6’ers from St Petersburg

1930 NI4CE system WCF Section Digital Info Ne NI4CE system

2000 147.105 146.2 Greater Tampa CERT net from Tampa

2000 146.97- 146.2 Clearwater ARS from Clearwater

2030 NI4CE system EAGLE Net, NTS traffic net NI4CE system

2100 NI4CE system Tampa Bay Traders Net non-affiliated


1800 146.52 simplex Hillsborough ARES/RACES North Tampa

1830 147.060 no tone St Pete ARC daily net from St Petersburg

1900 444.750 +146.2 Fusion net from Tampa

1930 146.850- & 442.625+ both pl 146.2 Wormhole from St Petersburg

1930 146.6385 -127.3 Lakeland ARC from Lakeland

1915 224.660- no tone St Pete ARC from St Petersburg

2030 NI4CE system EAGLE Net, NTS traffic net NI4CE system


1830 147.060 no tone St Pete ARC daily net from St Petersburg

2000 147.360+ pl 127.3 METRO ARC Friday Net from St Petersburg

2030 NI4CE system EAGLE Net, NTS traffic net NI4CE system


0830 3.911 (7.281 Alt.)+/- QRM WCF Section HF Net from Pinellas County

1830 147.060 no tone St Pete ARC daily net from St Petersburg

2030 NI4CE system EAGLE Net, NTS traffic net NI4CE system


1830 147.060 no tone St Pete ARC daily net from St Petersburg

1930 NI4CE system WCF Section Net NI4CE system

2000 147.550 simplex 550 Simplex Net Pinellas County

2030 NI4CE system EAGLE Net, NTS traffic net NI4CE system

2100 144.210 USB Clearwater ARS vertical orientation

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Anyone having something for sale or who might be looking for an item let me know.  I will not print phone numbers or email addresses unless specifically told to since this newsletter might end up on the web.  The exception is when I get the information off the web.  If you are a member of the Wormhole then you have all the information you need on a club roster and if you are not a member  .. why not?  OK, if you are not a member you can contact me at the email address at the end of this newsletter, I will give you the information to contact the person involved.

FOR SALE, 13 element, 14.5 ft 220 beam. Wormhole property, $20, contact Bill AG4QX or any other officer. Free to any Wormhole member or other club. Pickup at Bill’s house.

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November 12 SPARCFest, Pinellas Park,  SPARCFest, FREE,  Freedom Lake Park, 9990 46th St N, Southeast corner of US 19 and 49th Street, Talk-in on 147.060+ no tone. VE testing at 0900. For more information go to http://www.sparc-club.org/sparcfest.html

November 19 Upper Pinellas ARC Hamfest, Palm Harbor, Palm Harbor United Methodist Church, 1551 Belcher Road, Talk-In: 147.120 PL 100, no info on website, call Andy Miller , KJ4FEC, 727-488-4297

December 9-10 Plant City, the 2015 Tampa Bay Hamfest is the West Central Florida Section Convention, Friday and Saturday, at the Ag Building in the Strawberry Festival grounds, for information contact Bill Williams AG4QX, chairman@fgcarc.org or go to http://www.tampabayhamfest.org or you can just ask me, Jim or Dee 😉


February 10-12 Orlando Hamcation, Central Florida Fairgrounds, 4603 West Colonial Drive, Tickets $13 in advance, $15 at door. Talkin 146.4760 – no PL or D-Star 146.850 -, all the information at www.hamcation.com or call 407-841-0874

February 26 | West Central Florida Section Technical Conference (3rd Annual TECHCON), Sarasota, Sarasota Red Cross, 2001 Cantu Court. Looking for presentations and displays. For info see http://www.arrlwcf.org/ or contact Darrell Davis KT4WX at kt4wx@arrl.net

May 27 WormFest 2017, Pinellas Park,  FREE,  Freedom Lake Park, 9990 46th St N, southeast corner of US 19 and 49th Street, 33782.  Park opens at sunrise, hamfest from 0800 till…  Talkin on 442.625 + or 146.850 – both with a tone of 146.2.  For a map and directions see http://www.TheWormholeSociety.org .

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Last full weekend January Winter Field Day, http://www.spar-hams.org/index.php

Late January Gasparilla celebration

March/April MS Walks

March/April Mass Casualty Exercises

Late April Southeastern VHF Society Conference, http://www.svhfs.org

Late April Walk For Babies (was March of Dimes)

Late April Florida QSO Party

Mid-May Annual Armed Forces Crossband Test

Mid May MS 150 bike ride

Mid-May Florida Hurricane Exercise

Late May Wormfest

Early June Museum Ships on the Air

Fourth weekend in June Field Day http://www.arrl.org/contests/announcements/fd/

July 3/4 Midnight Run in Largo

August International Lighthouse/Lightship Week

October, 3rd weekend JOTA, Scout Jamboree-on-the-AIR

Early December ALS bike ride in Walsingham Park

December, first full weekend Ride & Run With The Stars in Fort DeSoto Park

December, Second full weekend Tampa Bay Hamfest

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Bill AG4QX is President and editor of this newsletter, Vice-President is Mike K4ZPE,  Treasurer is Jim KD4MZL, Paul KA4IOX is the Secretary, Dee N4GD is the Repeater Trustee and Neil W4NHL and Mike K4ZPE are our club webmasters.

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442.625 +  PL 146.2

146.850 –  PL 146.2

The Wormhole repeaters are both now dual mode Yaesu DR-1X. FM analog as always and now Yaesu Fusion, a C4FM/FM digital mode. The repeater crew updated the software on May 3, 2016.

The Wormhole website is at: http://www.TheWormholeSociety.org.

West Central Florida Section website:  http://www.arrlwcf.org/.

The ARRL website is at: http://www.arrl.org/

This newsletter is written for The Glorious Society of the Wormhole, an ARRL affiliated amateur radio club located around the Seminole section of Pinellas County Florida. Anyone wishing to be added or removed from The Glorious Society of the Wormhole mailings please write to me at the address below and thy will be done.


Bill Williams


ag4qx AT arrl DOT net

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