• The Weekly ARRL Letter

    From Sean Dennis@1:18/200 to All on Fri Jan 10 09:05:02 2020
    The ARRL Letter
    January 9, 2020

    * ARRL's New On the Air Magazine on its Way to Members
    * Volunteer Monitor Program Coordinator Looks Forward to a Positive
    2020
    * ARRL CEO Challenges Members: "Dare to Imagine"
    * So Now What? Podcast
    * Strong Earthquake Shakes Puerto Rico; Generating Capacity Severely
    Compromised
    * Australian Bushfires Causing Major Telecommunication Outages, Hams
    on Duty
    * Radio Amateurs of Canada Announces a New Section
    * China Telecoms Regulator Proposing to Delete Some Current Amateur
    Allocations
    * The K7RA Solar Update
    * Just Ahead in Radiosport
    * ARISS Next-Generation Radio System Ready for Launch to Space
    Station
    * CAMSAT Says CAS-6 Activation for Amateur Use Has Been Delayed
    * In Brief...
    * Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions
    ARRL's New On the Air Magazine on its Way to Members

    The premiere issue of ARRL's On the Air magazine has left the printer
    and is on its way to member subscribers. The magazine should be in
    mailboxes within the next 10 days.


    On the Air is the newest ARRL member benefit to help new licensees and
    beginner-to-intermediate radio communicators navigate the world of
    amateur radio. Eligible US-based members can elect to receive On the
    Air or QST magazine in print when they join or when they renew their
    ARRL membership.

    Delivered six times a year, the magazine will present articles and tips
    on selecting equipment, building projects, and getting involved in
    emergency communication. On the Air will also spotlight the experiences
    of those involved in public service communication and casual operating.

    All members will be able to access digital editions of On the Air
    magazine. The first digital issue of On the Air will be available
    beginning January 14, supported by a new version of ARRL's digital
    magazine app. With one app, members will be able to access On the Air
    and QST.
    Volunteer Monitor Program Coordinator Looks Forward to a Positive 2020

    In a holiday season message to ARRL leadership and to members of the
    new ARRL Volunteer Monitor (VM) program, its coordinator, Riley
    Hollingsworth, K4ZDH, expressed his gratitude to all involved for their
    contributions to getting the program off to a solid start in January.

    "It will be a good year," Hollingsworth said. "We will have fun, you
    will enjoy it more than you probably think, and -- thanks to the talent
    and generosity of one of our VMs -- a computer program will make your
    reporting much easier (there will be no need for bi-monthly reports!),"
    he wrote. "This is our opportunity to help amateur radio last another
    hundred years and to pay forward this wonderful avocation that joyfully
    occupies our lives. This could be our legacy if we do it with all the
    energy and devotion that characterized the Official Observer (OO)
    program for decades."

    Hollingsworth said the success of the OO program convinced the FCC to
    trust ARRL with the responsibilities now to be taken up by the
    Volunteer Monitor program. "Those of you who are former OOs have an
    extra reason to be proud, and amateur radio is grateful to you more
    than you will ever know," Hollingsworth concluded. "Thank you. It will
    be a privilege to work with you this new year."

    Approved by the ARRL Board of Directors in 2018, the Volunteer Monitor
    program supplants the venerable OO program. The VM program represents a
    formal agreement between the FCC and ARRL in which volunteers trained
    and vetted by ARRL will monitor the airwaves and collect evidence that
    can be used to correct misconduct. The program also will recognize
    exemplary on-air operation, something not done during the OO program.
    Cases of flagrant violations will be referred to the FCC by ARRL for
    action in accordance with FCC guidelines.

    The FCC proposed the new program in the wake of several FCC regional
    office closures and a reduction in field staff. It will give
    enforcement priority to cases developed by the Volunteer Monitor
    program without ARRL's having to refer cases through the FCC online
    complaint process.

    ARRL CEO Challenges Members: "Dare to Imagine"

    In his January 2020 QST "Second Century" editorial, ARRL CEO Howard
    Michel, WB2ITX, challenges members to imagine what ARRL and amateur
    radio will look like in 5 years and beyond and to dare to imagine
    change.

    "Younger hams are not just younger versions of you or me," Michel
    writes. "They have grown up in a different world." He points out that
    75% of non-members hold Technician licenses. "But more than license
    class, their interests are different. Their demographics are different.
    They are different, and they want different things," he said. His
    approach is to target specific interest groups, which he calls
    "verticals," that will allow ARRL to provide individual members what
    they want.

    "We can try to mold the future generation of hams to our image, or we
    can embrace new hams for what they are," Michel asserted. "ARRL needs
    to do the latter."

    In addition to initiatives such as the new On the Air magazine,
    debuting this month in print and digital editions, and the Lifelong
    Learning program to engage new licensees, Michel is proposing verticals
    focusing on radiosport, experimentation, and emergency communication.
    He's recommending a new family of "mini-magazines" to reach niche
    membership interests. "To jump start the mini-mag revolution," he said,
    "We will offer NCJ and QEX in digital form to everyone." ARRL also
    plans to hire a national club coordinator this year.

    "Our focus will be on developing ways, and an infrastructure, that
    members can use to organize themselves in ways they want, to do things
    that they consider meaningful," Michel said.

    He has invited members' comments.
    So Now What? Podcast

    In the final episode of So Now What? hosts Michelle Patnode, W3MVP, and
    Joe Carcia, NJ1Q, will speak with ARRL VEC Assistant Manager Amanda
    Grimaldi, N1NHL.

    An archive of So Now What? episodes will remain on Blubrry and will be
    accessible via the podcast's web page. Users can still direct questions
    regarding the podcast via email.

    Thank you to LDG Electronics for sponsoring the show and thanks to
    everyone for listening!

    Strong Earthquake Shakes Puerto Rico; Generating Capacity Severely
    Compromised

    ARRL Puerto Rico Section Manager Oscar Resto, KP4RF, says small tremors
    continue on the island in the wake of the 6.4 magnitude earthquake that
    struck the southwestern part of the island on January 7. A magnitude
    5.8 quake struck a day earlier. The Puerto Rico Electric Power
    Authority (PREPA) reported widespread power outages after generating
    plants automatically activated protective shutdown systems following
    the earthquake. But Resto told ARRL this week that considerable
    generating capacity was lost due to earthquake damage, and that it will
    take at least several days before replacement units can be brought back
    on line. Only about 20% of the island has electric power at this point,
    he estimated.

    "We have a shortage of about 1,100 megawatts of power," Resto told
    ARRL. "We normally need about 2,000 megawatts for the island."

    Resto cited the largely operational telecommunications network as the
    reason why no Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) activations have
    been necessary. "We have cell phones all over the island working," he
    said. Resto told ARRL that he's been working up a list of ready and
    resilient amateur radio volunteers who would be able to muster if
    needed to assist the American Red Cross, with which Puerto Rico ARES
    has a memorandum of understanding. "We are in continuous communication
    with the ARC in case we're needed."

    Resto stressed that he wants to avoid situations where volunteers
    activate only to be told they're not needed.

    The worst-impacted cities were Guayanilla, Peñuelas, Yauco, and
    Guánica. Resto said engineers have determined that 80% of the houses in
    the earthquake's impact zone are uninhabitable. Residents are sleeping
    outdoors, Resto said.

    Puerto Rico Section Public Information Officer Angel Santana, WP3GW,
    told ARRL that VHF and UHF repeaters with emergency power have carried
    reports of power and water outages, the continuing aftershocks, and
    other information on an informal basis. Bottled water and canned food
    have been in high demand, he said. Santana said the PREMA Emergency
    Operations Center (EOC) has been activated.

    Resto earlier this week called the situation "scary, with houses,
    schools, and roads collapsing." At least one death has resulted from
    the earthquake. He said the earthquake disaster definitely was a
    setback for the US territory as it continues its long recovery from
    severe hurricane damage in 2017. But, he added, the restored
    telecommunications infrastructure is more robust, to minimize damage in
    future disasters.
    Australian Bushfires Causing Major Telecommunication Outages, Hams on
    Duty

    Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) President Greg Kelly, VK2GPK,
    says the bushfires in Australia have caused significant disruption of
    telecommunication services in the states of Victoria and New South
    Wales. Radio amateurs are supporting relief operations and
    communication.

    WICEN (Wireless Institute Civil Emergency Network) in New South Wales
    reports it has been active assisting in a number of multi-agency
    activities during the bushfire emergency, in its role as a support
    squad of the NSW Volunteer Rescue Association (VRA) operations center
    in Bega. WICEN teams in NSW and in the Australian Capital Territory
    (ACT) have sent a team to Bega to help re-establish radio communication
    services, disrupted by fire activity.

    WICEN and other VRA squads continue to support the Rural Fire Service
    (RFS) at various Fire Control Centers and the Bushfire Information
    Line. Other WICEN members remain active with the RFS and the State
    Emergency Service.

    Kelley has asked radio amateurs in International Amateur Radio Union
    (IARU) Region 3 to monitor the emergency communications frequencies,
    per the IARU Region 3 band plan, whenever possible, as well as
    repeaters. "Amateurs seeking to establish emergency communication
    should use these EMCOMM frequencies in the first instance, or repeaters
    if available," he said in a statement posted on the IARU Region 3
    website.

    "Radio amateurs who are volunteers for [WICEN and other emergency
    communication organizations] should keep themselves updated," Kelley
    advised. "Emergency communication is one of the main reasons radio
    amateurs have access to RF spectrum. Please assist if and when you
    can."

    The IARU Region 3 emergency "center of activity" frequencies are 3.600,
    7.110, 14.300, 18.160, and 21.360 MHz. These are not net frequencies,
    but they are recommended as starting points for emergency traffic, and
    activity may extend 5 kHz above or below the designated center
    frequency.

    South of NSW in the state of Victoria, WICEN VIC reports that the
    amateur repeater network is largely off the air, possibly due to a lack
    of power. "Some sites may have been directly affected by fire," WICEN
    VIC said on January 4. "It could be some weeks until the sites can be
    reached for inspection."

    Radio Amateurs of Canada Announces a New Section

    The number of Sections needed for a clean sweep in the ARRL November
    Sweepstakes (SS) will rise to 84 in 2020, with the addition of a new
    Prince Edward Island (PE) Section. Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) has
    announced that the new Section will become effective on April 1.

    Prince Edward Island has been in the Maritimes (MAR) Section. RAC said
    its Prince Edward Island members have been working for some time to
    create a separate Section for RAC ARES activities there. The provinces
    of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick will remain in the Maritimes Section.

    In addition to Field Day and Sweepstakes, the new Section in Canada
    will affect the ARRL 160-Meter Contest but not the ARRL 10-Meter
    Contest, which uses individual states/provinces for US and Canadian
    multipliers. The change will mean that logging software developers will
    have to update their software to include the PE Section as a valid
    exchange element for any affected operating events.

    RAC also announced an adjustment in two of its Ontario Sections.
    Effective April 1, radio amateurs in the City of Hamilton and in the
    Regional Municipality of Niagara will shift to the Greater Toronto Area
    (GTA) Section from the Ontario South (ONS) Section.
    China Telecoms Regulator Proposing to Delete Some Current Amateur
    Allocations

    China's telecommunications regulator has proposed amending the Measures
    for the ministration of Amateur Radio Stations, and some amateur
    bands are in danger of being eliminated. Lide Zhang, BI8CKU, told ARRL
    that the proposal would prohibit amateur operation on the 2200-meter
    band as well as on 146 - 148 MHz, 1260 - 1300 MHz, 3400 - 3500 MHz,
    5650 - 5725 MHz, and all bands above 10 GHz.

    Radio communications engineer and Chinese Amateur Satellite Group
    (CAMSAT) CEO Alan Kung, BA1DU, told ARRL that government efforts to
    eliminate some amateur bands are nothing new, but proposals that have
    been aired for a while now are on the regulatory agency's schedule.
    Kung said he does not anticipate that all of the bands proposed will be
    taken away, but he conceded that the climate will "undoubtedly" become
    increasingly more dangerous for China's amateur radio community.

    "The attempt to crowd out the amateur radio bands has a long history
    throughout the world," he said, "but it may never have become so urgent
    for the amateur radio community as it is today. We all understand that
    radio spectrum resources have become a bottleneck for further
    development." He said today's radio communication industry "is working
    hard to share spectrum resources."

    Kung characterized spectrum as "the soil on which amateur radio
    depends."

    The K7RA Solar Update

    Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, reports: Sunspots appeared recently, all
    indicating that they belong to Cycle 25 due to their polarity, which is
    just the opposite from Cycle 24 spots. Sunspots appeared December 24 -
    26, and what appeared to be a new Cycle 25 spot showed up on January 1.
    NOAA did not report it, but Spaceweather.com reported a sunspot number
    of 11 for January 1.

    Predicted solar flux for the next 45 days is higher than in recent
    forecasts: 72 on January 2-9; 70 on January 10-11; 72 on January 12-25;
    70 on January 26 - February 7, and 72 on February 8-15.

    Predicted planetary A index is 5 on January 2-13; 12 on January 14-15;
    5 on January 16-25; 8 on January 2-28; 5 on January 29 - February 9; 10
    on February 10-11, and 5 on February 12-15.

    Sunspot numbers for December 19-25 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 24, and 23, with
    a mean of 6.7. The 10.7-centimeter flux was 69.9, 70, 70.6, 71, 72.6,
    72.7, and 72.1, with a mean of 71.3. Estimated planetary A indices were
    13, 5, 5, 4, 4, 3, and 4, with a mean of 5.4. The middle latitude A
    index was 12, 4, 4, 2, 2, 2, and 3, with a mean of 4.1.

    Sunspot numbers for December 26 - January 1 were 11, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, and
    11, with a mean of 3.1. The 10.7-centimeter flux was 72.1, 72.4, 72.2,
    72, 70.9, 70.5, and 71.8, with a mean of 71.7. Estimated planetary A
    indices were 5, 3, 2, 2, 3, 4, and 3, with a mean of 3.1. Middle
    latitude A index was 3, 2, 0, 0, 2, 4, and 3, with a mean of 2.

    A comprehensive K7RA Solar Update is posted Fridays on the ARRL
    website. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the
    ARRL Technical Information Service, read "What the Numbers Mean...,"
    and check out K9LA's Propagation Page.

    A propagation bulletin archive is available. Monthly charts offer
    propagation projections between the US and a dozen DX locations.

    Share your reports and observations.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Just Ahead in Radiosport
    * January 11 -- YB DX Contest (Phone)
    * January 11 -- Old New Year Contest (CW, phone)
    * January 11 - 12 -- UBA PSK63 Prefix Contest
    * January 11 - 12 -- SKCC Weekend Sprintathon (CW)
    * January 11 - 12 -- North American QSO Party, CW
    * January 12 -- NRAU-Baltic Contest, SSB, CW (separate events)
    * January 12 -- DARC 10-Meter Contest (CW, phone)
    * January 12 -- RSGB AFS Contest, Data
    * January 12 - 15 -- Classic Exchange (CW)
    * January 13 -- 4 States QRP Group Second Sunday Sprint (CW, phone)
    * January 16 -- NAQCC CW Sprint (CW)

    See the ARRL Contest Calendar for more information. For in-depth
    reporting on amateur radio contesting, subscribe to The ARRL Contest
    Update via your ARRL member profile email preferences.
    ARISS Next-Generation Radio System Ready for Launch to Space Station

    Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) reports that
    its first Interoperable Radio System (IORS) flight unit -- serial
    number 1001 -- has been delivered to NASA's Johnson Space Center for
    launch in early March. The IORS represents the first major upgrade in
    ARISS equipment on the International Space Station since Amateur Radio
    gained a permanent presence onboard the ISS in 2000. In December, ARISS
    received approval from NASA Safety to launch the IORS on SpaceX CRS-20
    and stow the radio system on the ISS for future installation.

    "The IORS is a foundational element of the ARISS next-generation radio
    system and is an incredible engineering achievement by the ARISS
    hardware team," ARISS International President Frank Bauer, KA3HDO,
    said. "This first element delivery will support easier radio mode
    transitions and enable new, exciting capabilities for hams, students,
    and the general public."

    The new system includes a higher-power radio, an enhanced voice
    repeater, and updated digital packet radio (APRS) and slow-scan
    television (SSTV) capabilities for both the US and Russian space
    station segments. The IORS consists of a custom-modified JVC Kenwood
    TM-D710GA transceiver, an AMSAT-developed multi-voltage power supply,
    and interconnecting cables.

    The IORS set to launch in March will be installed in the ISS Columbus
    module; a second flight unit is expected to be launched later this year
    for installation in the Russian Service module. The ARISS hardware team
    will assemble four flight units -- and 10 IORS units in all -- to
    support onboard flight operations, training, operations planning, and
    hardware testing.

    ARISS International President Frank
    Bauer, KA3HDO.

    "Future upgrades and enhancements to the next-generation system are in
    various stages of design and development," Bauer said. "These include a
    repaired Ham Video system -- currently planned for launch in
    mid-to-late 2020, L-band (uplink) repeater, ground command operations
    capability, LimeSDR signal reception, a microwave 'Ham Communicator,'
    and Lunar Gateway prototype experiment."

    Bauer said a lot of "heavy lifting" remains to prepare the IORS for
    operation on the space station. "ARISS has 92 engineering requirements
    and our operations Phase III safety review to complete," he explained.
    "The space agencies take a position of 'trust, but verify.' Thus, these
    engineering and safety 'verifications' all need to be closed out before
    the IORS can be unstowed and turned on. This will be the ARISS hardware
    team's focus over the next few months."

    Bauer reminded that ARISS is almost entirely run by volunteers and
    encouraged donations for next-generation hardware developments,
    operations, education, and administrative functions.
    CAMSAT Says CAS-6 Activation for Amateur Use Has Been Delayed

    Chinese Amateur Satellite Group (CAMSAT) CEO Alan Kung, BA1DU, told
    ARRL this week that some problems with the precise attitude
    determination of the newly launched CAS-6 amateur radio satellite have
    delayed deployment of the antennas. The satellite was to have been put
    into service within 3 days.

    "If the V/UHF antennas are deployed now, additional torque may affect
    determination of the satellite attitude," Kung said. "Engineers need to
    modify and upload the software, which will take some time." He said
    that taking into consideration the upcoming long Chinese New Year
    holiday, the test work is planned to be completed sometime in late
    February or early March. At that time, VHF/UHF antennas will be
    deployed, and the amateur radio payload will be available for use.

    Kung points out that the satellite's CW beacon has been turned on,
    although the antenna has not yet been deployed. "If you have a 'big
    ear,' you may be able to receive weak signal leaked from an undeployed
    antenna on 145.910 MHz," he said. "A polyimide cover on the antenna
    chassis can help to leak some RF signal."

    CAMSAT has provided CAS-6 Satellite Digital Telemetry Description and
    CW Telemetry Beacon Encoding Format documents. -- Thanks to Alan Kung,
    BA1DU
    In Brief...

    ARRL San Joaquin Valley Section Manager Dan Pruitt, AE6SX, of Fresno,
    California, died on December 27. He was 68 and had been hospitalized as
    a result of a fall. First licensed in 1965, Pruitt had served as SJV SM
    since 2009 and had begun a new 2-year term last year. Assistant SM John
    Litz, NZ6Q, has been appointed to succeed him. Pruitt had previously
    served as Fresno County Emergency Coordinator, and his focus has been
    on improving emergency communication in his region, working with the
    Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES), the National Traffic
    System, the Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS), the American Red
    Cross, the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), and the System for
    ministration, Training, and Educational Resources for NASA. He had
    also served as SJV Public Information Officer. Litz, an ARRL Life
    Member from Stockton, California, was first licensed in 1974. He is
    active in many facets of Amateur Radio, and has served as an Assistant
    Section Manager in San Joaquin Valley for the past year.

    Tickets for three traditional dinners held in association with the 2020
    Dayton Hamvention^(R) in May are now available. The DX Dinner, the Top
    Band Dinner, and the Contest Dinner. Inductees to the CQ DX and CQ
    Contest Halls of Fame will be announced at the DX Dinner and Contest
    Dinner, respectively. Hall of Fame nominations are due by March 1. Read
    more.

    ARRL West Central Florida Section Celebrating its 20th Anniversary this
    Year The ARRL West Central Florida Section is marking its 20th
    anniversary this year. The Section newsletter, the WCF Presser,
    includes information on celebratory activities. A K4WCF special event
    in January will activate all 10 of the Section's counties, with
    additional K4WCF special events later in the year. The West Central
    Florida Section website also has a new look for the 20th anniversary
    celebration, its first since January 2015. West Central Florida was
    ARRL's 71st Section. It includes Charlotte, DeSoto, Hardee, Highlands,
    Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, and Sarasota counties.
    Darrell Davis, KT4WX, is the West Central Florida Section Manager.

    Wolf Hadel, DK2OM, stepped down at year's end as coordinator of the
    International Amateur Radio Union Region 1 Monitoring System (IARUMS).
    IARU Region 1 President Don Beattie, G3BJ, announced in December that,
    after many years of monitoring and tracking intruders on the amateur
    bands, Hadel has been awarded the IARU President's Diamond Award in
    recognition of his efforts. Hadel worked for the Deutscher Amateur
    Radio Club (DARC) monitoring system for more than 30 years and has
    coordinated IARUMS since 2005. IARUMS Region 1 Vice Coordinator Peter
    Jost, HB9CET, will take over as coordinator for the time being. Read
    more.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions
    * January 17 - 18 -- North Texas Section Convention, Forest Hill,
    Texas
    * January 19 - 25 -- Quartzfest, Quartzsite, Arizona
    * January 25 -- ARRL Midwest Conference, Collinsville, Illinois
    * February 1 -- South Carolina State Convention, North Charleston,
    South Carolina
    * February 1 -- Virginia State Convention, Richmond, VA
    * February 7 - 9 -- Northern Florida Section Convention, Orlando,
    Florida
    * February 14 - 15 -- Southwest Division Convention, Yuma, Arizona

    Find conventions and hamfests in your area.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

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    --- SendMsg/2

    --- Squish/386 v1.11
    * Origin: Outpost BBS * Limestone, TN, USA (1:18/200)
  • From Sean Dennis@1:18/200 to All on Fri Jan 17 09:05:18 2020
    The ARRL Letter
    January 16, 2020

    * ARRL On the Air Podcast Premieres January 16
    * Leadership Elections to Highlight January 17 - 18 ARRL Annual Board
    Meeting
    * US Air Force Space Fence Nearing Operational Acceptance
    * Puerto Rico Earthquake Relief Effort Continues, with Help from Ham
    Radio
    * 2019 ARRL Periodicals Available on DVD and via Download
    * The K7RA Solar Update
    * Just Ahead in Radiosport
    * YOTA Month Reported a Success in the Americas
    * Nominations Solicited for Six ARRL Awards
    * In Brief...
    * Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions
    ARRL On the Air Podcast Premieres January 16

    ARRL's new On the Air podcast for those just getting started on their
    amateur radio journey will debut this Thursday, January 16, with a new
    episode posted each month. The podcast is a companion to the new
    bimonthly On the Air magazine, which is already on its way to member
    subscribers. On the Air magazine's Editorial Director Becky Schoenfeld,
    W1BXY, will be the host of the new podcast. Both the podcast and the
    magazine are aimed at offering new and beginner-to-intermediate-level
    radio amateurs a fresh approach to exploring radio communication.

    Listeners can find the On the Air podcast at Blubrry, Apple iTunes (or
    by using your iPhone or iPad podcast app -- search for On the Air), and
    Stitcher (or through the free Stitcher app for iOS, Kindle, or Android
    devices). Episodes will be archived on the ARRL website.

    Each On the Air podcast will take a deeper dive into the articles and
    issues raised in the magazine, including advice and insight on topics
    covering the range of amateur radio interests and activities: radio
    technology, operating, equipment, project building, and emergency
    communication.

    Supplementing On the Air will be a new Facebook page for those who
    share a love of radio communication and are looking to learn and
    explore more about their interests.

    The biweekly Eclectic Tech podcast for experienced radio amateurs will
    launch on February 13. Hosted by QST Editor Steve Ford, WB8IMY,
    Eclectic Tech will highlight topics involving amateur and non-amateur
    technology, offer brief interviews with individuals involved in
    projects of interest to amateurs, and include practical information of
    immediate benefit to today's hams. Eclectic Tech will be available via
    iTunes and Stitcher.

    The ARRL Mags apps including QST and On the Air are now live on Apple
    iTunes and Google Play. The digital edition of On the Air magazine is
    also live and linked from the On the Air page on the ARRL website.
    Leadership Elections to Highlight January 17 - 18 ARRL Annual Board
    Meeting

    Southeastern
    Division
    Director
    Mickey
    Baker, N4MB.
    [Michelle
    Patnode,
    W3MVP,
    photo]

    The ARRL Board of Directors will elect officers when it meets for its
    2020 annual meeting on January 17 - 18 in Windsor, Connecticut. The
    Board will hear nominations and then vote, as necessary, for ARRL
    president, first and second vice presidents, international affairs vice
    president, secretary, treasurer, chief executive officer, and chief
    financial officer. The Board will also choose members to serve on the
    Executive Committee and on the ARRL Foundation. Successful candidates
    will take office after the Board meeting adjourns.

    Some new faces will be around the table. The ARRL Southeastern Division
    has entirely new leadership.

    Southeastern
    Division Vice
    Director James
    Schilling,
    KG4JSZ. [Michelle
    Patnode, W3MVP,
    photo]

    In last year's elections, Mickey Baker, N4MB, defeated Greg Sarratt,
    W4OZK, to become the new Southeastern Division Director, while James
    Schilling, KG4JSZ, won a three-way race for Vice Director.

    In the Southwest Division, new Vice Director Mark Weiss, K6FG, was the
    sole candidate to succeed Ned Stearns, AA7A, who decided not to stand
    for another term.

    The Board will hear officers' reports and receive financial reports.
    Members will also hear reports from ARRL's Washington Counsel, David
    Siddall, K3ZJ, and from its Connecticut Counsel.

    Southwestern
    Division Vice
    Director Mark
    Weiss, K6FG.
    [Michelle
    Patnode, W3MVP,
    photo]

    The Board will also receive and consider reports and recommendations
    from committees and coordinators.

    ditionally, the Board will consider recommendations of the Standing
    Committees, including the Executive Committee, the ministration and
    Finance Committee, and the Programs and Services Committee and consider
    additional recommendations as contained in reports.

    The meeting will hear any motions that the 15 individual Directors may
    offer for Board consideration.

    US Air Force Space Fence Nearing Operational Acceptance

    According to NASA's most recent Orbital Debris Quarterly News, the
    space agency calculates about 17.6 million pounds of objects are in
    earth orbit, a number that will grow as launches proliferate --
    including thousands of small satellites -- presenting a huge problem.
    The US Air Force Space Fence -- a second-generation space surveillance
    system now nearing completion -- is expected to play a crucial role.

    Space Fence is located on Kwajalein
    Atoll in the Marshall Islands. [US
    Army photo]

    Using advanced solid-state S-band radar technology, Space Fence is
    located on Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. Such critical
    space-based technologies as weather forecasting, banking, global
    communications, and GPS navigation are under threat from space junk
    orbiting Earth. Collisions already are frequent, and defunct satellites
    and rocket boosters have increased the amount of space debris.

    The Air Force Space Surveillance Network tracks about 25,000 objects.
    When Space Fence comes online, the catalog will expand considerably,
    and when fully operational, it will be the world's largest and most
    advanced radar system, offering unprecedented space situational
    awareness. Beyond cataloging objects, Space Fence will detect closely
    spaced objects, breakups, maneuvers, launches, and more.

    Contractor Lockheed Martin reported last spring that Space Fence was
    able to detect debris from a microsatellite destroyed by India as part
    of an anti-satellite test. It then was able to determine the orbit of
    the remnants and predict when the space junk would pass through the
    fence again.

    Space Fence is expected to become fully operational this year. --
    Thanks to AMSAT News Service via Milsat Magazine; Lockheed Martin
    Puerto Rico Earthquake Relief Effort Continues, with Help from Ham
    Radio

    In Puerto Rico, Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) volunteers
    continue to operate from the American Red Cross distribution center in
    Yauco -- one of the towns hit the hardest by the recent earthquakes and
    ongoing aftershocks on the island. The Red Cross requested assistance
    last week to identify undeclared refugee camps and to report on closed
    or damaged roadways and bridges. ARES District 5

    Volunteers Eduardo Hernandez, WP4RAF
    (left), and Herb Perez, WP4ZZ.
    [Photo courtesy of Oscar Resto,
    KP4RF]

    Emergency Coordinator Herb Perez, WP4ZZ, who is among those
    volunteering for the Red Cross at Yauco, reported on January 14 that
    he, Melvin Velazquez, WP4RAP, and Yolanda Garcia, WP4QZF, were on duty
    there.

    "Today, we were able to occupy our space with no major incident other
    than the usual shaking of the entire structure. More than 10 per hour,"
    Perez said. "One of our members, Jared Martinez, KP4LCO, was able to
    search near his hometown of Lajas and was able to locate more than 10
    unidentified campsites around the area." Perez said such reports enable
    the Red Cross to provide necessary assistance to those left homeless as
    a result of the earthquakes.

    Perez said volunteers were able to collect food from a church-run food
    pantry in Sabana Grande for isolated communities in the mountain
    region. He said local members of the General Mobile Radio Service
    (GMRS) and Citizens Band radio communities have been pitching in.

    Operations from Yauco have been on VHF and UHF, although commercial
    telecommunication services remain in operation for the most part.
    Another station has been established at the Red Cross Headquarters in
    the capital of San Juan, which is not in the earthquake zone. Puerto
    Rico Section Manager Oscar Resto, KP4RF, said the stations are
    operating as a backbone, in the event of new or stronger earthquakes.
    HF equipment has been safely stowed if communications fail, Resto said.
    Most of Puerto Rico now has power and water.

    Puerto Rico Section Manager Oscar
    Resto, KP4RF, installs an antenna at
    Red Cross Headquarters in San Juan.

    ARRL is shipping six VHF/UHF base/repeater antennas and six 50-foot
    rolls of LMR-400 coax through the Ham Aid Fund. Resto said a new Red
    Cross warehouse will be placed in Mayagüez, where he will install a
    third station for backbone communication. "That is the reason for the
    new antennas," he said. "We already have the radios. In case we need to
    escalate to HF, we are ready with ARRL go-kits from Hurricane Maria."

    A lot of seismic activity was reported on January 15. "Many more or
    less 3.1 quakes were felt during the day," Perez said. That included a
    magnitude 5.1 temblor that shook the facilities.

    The ARES team in Yauco has also been handling health-and-welfare
    traffic from the earthquake zone. Operations are running from 9 AM
    until 5 PM each day.

    A magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck the southwestern part of Puerto Rico
    on January 7, fast on the heels of a magnitude 5.8 tremor the day
    before. The worst-impacted cities were Guayanilla, Peñuelas, Yauco, and
    Guánica, where most homes are no longer habitable.

    2019 ARRL Periodicals Available on DVD and via Download

    The 2019 ARRL Periodicals DVD is now available and includes the
    complete, fully searchable collection of three ARRL publications --
    QST, the official membership journal of ARRL, QEX Forum for
    Communications Experimenters, and National Contest Journal (NCJ). In
    addition, the DVD includes source code for software projects and PC
    board patterns; Section News, and the ever-popular Contest Soapbox and
    Contest Results.

    Search the full text of every article by entering titles, call signs,
    or names. See every word, photo, drawing, and table in technical and
    general-interest features, columns and product reviews, plus all
    advertisements. Print what you see, or copy it into other applications.
    System requirements: Microsoft Windows and Macintosh systems, using
    obe Acrobat Reader software.

    The 2019 ARRL Periodicals DVD is available from the ARRL Store or your
    ARRL Dealer. (ARRL Item no. 1274, ISBN: 978-1-62595-127-4, $24.95
    retail, plus shipping. Call 860-594-0355 or toll-free in the US,
    888-277-5289. 2019 ARRL Periodicals is also available as a download in
    a Windows version (ARRL Item no. 1274_WD) and Mac/Linux version (ARRL
    Item no. 1274_MLD).
    The K7RA Solar Update

    Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, reports: Solar Cycle 25 sunspots persisted on
    January 9 - 10, with daily sunspot numbers of 14 and 11, respectively.
    This brought the weekly average daily sunspot number from 8.4 last week
    to 3.6 this week. Average daily solar flux edged up from 71.8 to 72.5.

    The average daily planetary A index declined from 6.3 to 5.6, and the
    average middle latitude A index went from 5.3 to 3.7.

    Predicted solar flux for the next 45 days is 71 on January 16 - 18; 70
    on January 19 - 23; 72 on January 24 - 25; 70 on January 26 - February
    7; 72 on February 8 - 22, and 70 on February 23 - 29.

    Predicted planetary A index is 5 on January 16 - 18; 8 on January 19 -
    20; 5 on January 21 - 31; 8 on February 1 - 2; 5 on February 3; 10 on
    February 4 - 6; 5 on February 7 - 9; 10 on February 10 - 11; 5 on
    February 12 - 22; 8 on February 23 - 24; 5 on February 25 - 27, and 8
    on February 28 - 29.

    Sunspot numbers for January 9 - 15 were 14, 11, 0, 0, 0, 0, and 0, with
    a mean of 3.6. The 10.7-centimeter flux was 74.4, 72.8, 73.5, 71.9,
    71.5, 71.9, and 71.2, with a mean of 72.5. Estimated planetary A
    indices were 12, 7, 6, 4, 3, 3, and 4, with a mean of 5.6. The middle
    latitude A index was 8, 6, 4, 2, 2, 2, and 2, with a mean of 3.7.

    A comprehensive K7RA Solar Update is posted Fridays on the ARRL
    website. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the
    ARRL Technical Information Service, read "What the Numbers Mean...,"
    and check out K9LA's Propagation Page.

    A propagation bulletin archive is available. Monthly charts offer
    propagation projections between the US and a dozen DX locations.

    Just Ahead in Radiosport
    * January 17 -- LZ Open Contest (CW)
    * January 18 -- RSGB AFS Contest, SSB
    * January 18 -- WAB 1.8 MHz Phone/CW
    * January 18 - 19 -- Hungarian DX Contest (CW, phone)
    * January 18 - 19 -- North American QSO Party, SSB
    * January 18 - 19 -- NA Collegiate Championship, SSB
    * January 18 - 19 -- Feld Hell Sprint
    * January 18 - 20 -- ARRL January VHF Contest (CW, phone, digital)
    * January 20 -- Run for the Bacon QRP Contest (CW)
    * January 22 -- SKCC Sprint (CW)
    * January 23 -- NAQCC CW Sprint

    See the ARRL Contest Calendar for more information. For in-depth
    reporting on amateur radio contesting, subscribe to The ARRL Contest
    Update via your ARRL member profile email preferences.
    YOTA Month Reported a Success in the Americas

    For several years now, Youngsters on the Air (YOTA) has sponsored YOTA
    Month each December, primarily involving young radio amateurs in Europe
    and Africa. In December, youth-operated amateur radio stations in the
    Americas picked up the ball to contribute more than 12,000 contacts to
    the worldwide event. Eighteen operators aged 25 or younger deployed
    special event 1 * 1 call signs -- K8Y, K8O, K8T, and K8A -- to promote
    youth in amateur radio. Fifteen young operators across the US took
    turns using these call signs throughout December. They logged 10,474
    contacts using those call signs on SSB, CW, digital modes, and
    satellites. Some operators also aired the call signs during contests.
    Participants in the Americas offered opinions on what made the event
    special for them.

    "Operating-wise, it was definitely the pileups...I love a good pileup,"
    said Mason Matrazzo, KM4SII. "Apart from that, it was great getting to
    be part of a group of youngsters that are all into the hobby. Even
    though we weren't physically working together, we all got to be part of
    the YOTA program over the air."

    Audrey McElroy, KM4BUN, also cited the on-air camaraderie. "My favorite
    part of YOTA month was getting the wonderful experience of talking to
    other youth all over the world and sharing our experiences," she said.
    "It gives us hope to know the future of amateur radio is in the hands
    of these great kids." Her brother Jack, KM4ZIA, also took part.

    In Canada, David Samu, VE7DZO, signed VE7YOTA in December, making 458
    contacts on CW. "My favorite part was seeing all the YOTA stations on
    the air throughout December and seeing all the high energy youth
    activity," he said.

    YOTA Month in the Americas
    Coordinator Bryant Rascoll, KG5HVO,
    at WRTC-2018.

    Mathias Acevedo, CE2LR, activated XR2YOTA, and met another young
    operator from Chile, Manu Pardo, CA3MPR, through YOTA month. Between
    them, they put 1,535 contacts into the log on CW, SSB, and digital
    modes.

    Bryant Rascoll, KG5HVO, coordinated the efforts of the 17 participants
    and the logs for the US stations. "I learned much during the month
    about the importance of teamwork and communication...just like
    baseball," Bryant said about his role as coordinator. "I think YOTA
    month was a great success considering the short amount of time we had
    to plan this all out. I had a lot of fun operating this event, but it
    was even more rewarding to see other youth here in the Americas make
    tons of QSOs during December."

    The first Youth On The Air camp in the US will take place June 21 - 26
    at the National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting in West Chester
    Township, Ohio. Read more.

    Nominations Solicited for Six ARRL Awards

    ARRL is inviting nominations for awards that recognize educational and
    technological pursuits in amateur radio. Nominations are also open for
    ARRL's premier award to honor a young licensee.
    * The Hiram Percy Maxim Award recognizes a radio amateur and ARRL
    member younger than age 21, whose accomplishments and contributions
    are of the most exemplary nature within the framework of amateur
    radio activities. Nominations for this award are made through ARRL
    Section Managers, who will forward nominations to ARRL
    Headquarters. The deadline is March 31, 2020.
    * The ARRL Herb S. Brier Instructor of the Year Award honors an ARRL
    volunteer amateur radio instructor or ARRL professional classroom
    teacher who uses creative instructional approaches and reflects the
    highest values of the amateur radio community. The award highlights
    quality of and commitment to licensing instruction. Nominations are
    due by March 16, 2020.
    * The ARRL Microwave Development Award pays tribute to a radio
    amateur or group of radio amateurs who contribute to the
    development of the amateur radio microwave bands. The nomination
    deadline is March 31, 2020.
    * The ARRL Technical Service Award recognizes an individual radio
    amateur or group of radio amateurs who provide amateur radio
    technical assistance or training. The nomination deadline is March
    31, 2020.
    * The ARRL Technical Innovation Award is conferred on an individual
    radio amateur or group of radio amateurs who develop and apply new
    technical ideas or techniques in amateur radio. The nomination
    deadline is March 31, 2020.
    * The Knight Distinguished Service Award recognizes exceptional
    contributions by a Section Manager to the health and vitality of
    ARRL. The nomination deadline is April 30, 2020.

    The ARRL Board of Directors selects award recipients, and winners are
    typically announced following the Board's July meeting. More
    information about these awards on the ARRL website, or contact Steve
    Ewald, WV1X, telephone (860) 594-0265.
    In Brief...

    W1AW will be on the air for Winter Field Day. Members of the Warren
    County (New York) Amateur Radio Club (W2WCR) will activate Maxim
    Memorial Station W1AW for Winter Field Day 2020 over the January 25 -
    26 weekend. Winter Field Day is sponsored by the Winter Field Day
    Association (WFDA), which believes that emergency communication is
    important throughout the year. Winter Field Day is open to radio
    amateurs worldwide. The WFDA's goal is to help enhance operating skills
    and to prepare participants for all environmental conditions. Winter
    Field Day runs for 24 hours. Station set-up may start no earlier than
    1900 UTC on the day before the event and may not take any longer than
    12 hours in total. Expect activity on all amateur bands except 12, 17,
    30, and 60 meters. All modes that can handle the required exchange are
    welcome; this does not include FT8. Entry categories include indoor,
    outdoor, and home. Full details are on the Winter Field Day website.

    The free ARRL Events app, which will be featured at Orlando HamCation,
    is now available for both Apple iOS and Android devices. A web-browser
    version, optimized for nearly any browser or other mobile device type,
    is also available to view. Orlando HamCation 2020 takes place February
    7 - 9 and has been sanctioned as the 2020 ARRL Northern Florida Section
    Convention. Hosted annually by the Orlando Amateur Radio Club,
    HamCation is one of the largest annual amateur radio gatherings in the
    US.

    Marvin Hoffman, WA4NC, will take over this spring as ARRL North
    Carolina Section Manager. Hoffman, of Boone, was the sole nominee to
    succeed incumbent Section Manager Karl Bowman, W4CHX, of Raleigh, who
    decided not to run for a new term after serving since 2014. Because no
    challengers came forward by the nomination deadline, no contested SM
    elections took place during the winter election cycle. These incumbent
    Section Managers will begin new terms in 2020: John Fritze, K2QY,
    Eastern New York; George Miller, W3GWM, Eastern Pennsylvania; John Mark
    Robertson, K5JMR, Louisiana; Joe Speroni, AH0A, Pacific; Dave
    Kaltenborn, N8KBC, San Diego; Chris Stallkamp, KI0D, South Dakota, and
    Joe Palsa, K3WRY, Virginia. New 2-year terms of office begin on April
    1.

    The fourth annual AM Rally operating event will take place February 1 -
    3 (UTC). The annual AM Rally encourages all operators to explore
    amateur radio's original voice mode by showcasing the various types of
    AM equipment in use today, ranging from early vacuum-tube rigs to the
    newest SDR-based transceivers. "Both new and experienced ops are
    discovering that AM can sound quite good, enhancing the enjoyment of
    contacts," said Clark Burgard, N1BCG, an enthusiastic promoter of the
    event. "The AM Rally provides a great reason to give it a try." The AM
    Rally is open to all radio amateurs capable of running full-carrier,
    amplitude modulation (standard AM) using any type of radio equipment --
    modern, vintage, tube, solid-state, software-defined, military, boat
    anchor, broadcast, homebrew, or commercially manufactured -- are
    encouraged to join in the AM fun on 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, and 6
    meters. Details are on the AM Rally website or contact Burgard via
    email. The AM Rally is sponsored by ARRL, Radio Engineering Associates,
    and iNetRadio.

    An international team of 10 operators will be active as W8S from Swains
    Island from March 10 to March 25. The DXpedtion team will be active on
    all HF bands on CW, SSB, FT8, and RTTY. Operation will be from two
    separate camps on the island -- a Red Camp and a Blue Camp -- each with
    two stations. The four stations will be on the air 24/7. The station
    equipment complements are identical. Two stations will be dedicated for
    160 and 80 meters. A WiFi network will link the Red and Blue camps to
    network all logging laptops. Hans Griessl, DL6JGN, and Ronald Stuy,
    PA3EWP, are co-leaders. Swains Island (Olohega) is an atoll in the
    Tokelau chain. Swains is a US territory and considered part of American
    Samoa. Swains Island is the 34th most-wanted DXCC entity, according to
    Club Log.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions
    * January 17 - 18 -- North Texas Section Convention, Forest Hill,
    Texas
    * January 19 - 25 -- Quartzfest, Quartzsite, Arizona
    * January 25 -- ARRL Midwest Conference, Collinsville, Illinois
    * February 1 -- South Carolina State Convention, North Charleston,
    South Carolina
    * February 1 -- Virginia State Convention, Richmond, VA
    * February 7 - 9 -- Northern Florida Section Convention, Orlando,
    Florida
    * February 14 - 15 -- Southwest Division Convention, Yuma, Arizona

    Find conventions and hamfests in your area.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    ARRL -- Your One-Stop Resource for
    Amateur Radio News and Information.

    .

    .
    * Join or Renew Today! ARRL membership includes QST, amateur radio's
    most popular and informative journal, delivered to your mailbox
    each month.
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    Subscribe to...
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    articles by top contesters, letters, hints, statistics, scores, NA
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    * QEX -- A Forum for Communications Experimenters. Published
    bimonthly, features technical articles, construction projects,
    columns, and other items of interest to radio amateurs and
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    Free of charge to ARRL members...
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    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    The ARRL Letter is published Thursdays, 50 times each year. ARRL members
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    Copyright (c) 2020 American Radio Relay League, Incorporated. Use and
    distribution of this publication, or any portion thereof, is permitted for
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    purposes require written permission.


    --- SendMsg/2

    --- Squish/386 v1.11
    * Origin: Outpost BBS * Limestone, TN, USA (1:18/200)
  • From Sean Dennis@1:18/200 to All on Fri Jan 24 09:05:02 2020
    The ARRL Letter
    January 23, 2020

    * Barry Shelley, N1VXY, is ARRL Interim CEO
    * ARES Volunteers Establish "Plan B" Communication Network in Puerto
    Rico
    * Massachusetts Club Offers Support to Arecibo Observatory Following
    Earthquakes
    * New Book from ARRL: Amateur Radio Contesting for Beginners
    * The K7RA Solar Update
    * Just Ahead in Radiosport
    * IARU Region 1 Youngsters On The Air Summer Camp 2020 Will Be in
    Croatia
    * AMSAT: GOLF-TEE Initiative Meets Major Milestone
    * ITU Development Sector Publication Highlights Amateur Radio's Role
    in Emergency Communication
    * ARISS Opens Window for ISS Ham Radio Contact Proposals on February
    1
    * In Brief...
    * Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions
    Barry Shelley, N1VXY, is ARRL Interim CEO

    At its January 17 - 18 meeting, the ARRL Board of Directors did not
    elect Howard Michel, WB2ITX, as the ARRL Chief Executive Officer.

    As of January 20, Barry Shelley, N1VXY, became interim CEO. Mr. Shelley
    was ARRL's Chief Financial Officer for 28 years and CEO during 2018
    before his retirement.

    The Board has created a search committee to select the next CEO. More
    details on this and other matters that took place at the Board meeting
    will be released shortly.
    ARES Volunteers Establish "Plan B" Communication Network in Puerto Rico

    Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES^(R)) volunteers in Puerto Rico
    continued over the weekend to report for daily duty at an American Red
    Cross (ARC) distribution center in Mayagüez and at ARC Headquarters in
    San Juan. The two sites are ready to provide a "Plan B" communication
    backbone in the event the seismic situation worsens. A magnitude 6.4
    earthquake struck southwestern Puerto Rico on January 7, fast on the
    heels of a magnitude 5.8 tremor the day before, damaging homes in
    Guayanilla, Peñuelas, Yauco, and Guánica. ARRL Puerto Rico Section
    Manager Oscar Resto, KP4RF, told ARRL this week that the situation is
    relatively "calm and quiet" for now and starting on January 22,
    volunteers began monitoring from their homes or vehicles, permitting
    most, including Resto himself, to get back to their jobs and homes.

    ARES volunteers had been deployed to an ARC distribution center in
    Yauco, but that part of the operation was shifted to Mayagüez over the
    weekend, because it was considered safer there. An ARRL-provided
    VHF/UHF radio and antenna have been set up at the Mayagüez facility.
    Resto said a second operating position is being added at the San Juan
    ARC Headquarters site.

    Resto said Red Cross officials know that they can rely on amateur
    radio, if the situation calls for it, but for now commercial
    communications are fully operational, although aftershocks from the
    January 7 quake persist. "In case the situation escalates, the ARES
    team will immediately mobilize at the ARC sites and establish
    communication (VHF/UHF or HF) as required," Resto said.

    The ARRL Ham
    Aid program
    provided this
    antenna,
    installed in
    Mayagüez.
    [Oscar Resto,
    KP4RF, photo]

    Last week, the Red Cross had requested assistance from the ARES
    volunteers as well as volunteers from the CB radio and GMRS
    communities, to identify undeclared refugee camps and to report on
    close or damaged roadways and bridges. Resto said the ARES volunteers
    "did a marvelous job" that earned praise from Red Cross officials.

    Resto said about two dozen volunteers have made themselves available in
    the Mayagüez area. In the event they're needed, Resto said, he has
    seven or eight HF radios and 15 VHF/UHF transceivers left over from the
    Hurricane Maria emergency response. He said the HF equipment has been
    safely stowed for use in case of another major earthquake, when they
    might be needed.

    He was expecting additional antennas and feed lines provided through
    ARRL's Ham Aid program to show up this week.

    Massachusetts Club Offers Support to Arecibo Observatory Following
    Earthquakes

    Although not in the hardest-hit earthquake zone, Puerto Rico's Arecibo
    Observatory nonetheless has been affected by the recent spate of
    earthquakes and aftershocks. The landmark Arecibo radio telescope and
    ionospheric radar facility was a victim of the devastation wrought by
    Hurricane Maria in 2017.

    Members of the Nashoba Valley Amateur Radio Club (NVARC) have stepped
    up to assist in support and recovery efforts for the Arecibo
    Observatory radio telescope and ionospheric radar facility. NVARC
    members Phil Erickson, W1PJE; Rod Hersh, WA1TAC, and Jim Wilber, AB1WQ,
    participated in daily scheduled radio contacts with Arecibo's lead
    telescope operator and spectrum manager, Angel Vazquez, WP3R. Other
    NVARC members volunteered to serve as back-up stations.

    "All AO staff members are safe, and our technical teams have completed
    preliminary visual analysis of the primary structure and have found no
    immediate damage/issues, however a more detailed inspection needs to be
    completed once the aftershocks subside," said Francisco Córdova,
    Arecibo Observatory's director, at the University of Central Florida.

    Site operations were suspended and access was limited to essential
    personnel, according to the latest information available from the
    Arecibo Observatory website.

    Over several days, when commercial power and water were not available
    near Arecibo, club members inquired about potential assistance.
    Although conditions are slowly improving on the northern portion of the
    island where the observatory is located, Vazquez noted that thousands
    of people displaced from their homes in the hard-hit southern part of
    the island had to camp outside, due to extensive structural damage and
    ongoing aftershocks.

    NVARC members were also able to provide messages of support from MIT's
    Haystack Observatory in Westford, Massachusetts, and from program
    officers at the National Science Foundation (NSF) Geospace Facilities
    Division in Washington, DC. NSF funds the observation programs and
    scientific research at Arecibo Observatory. NVARC said the radio
    contacts would continue as the recovery proceeds.
    New Book from ARRL: Amateur Radio Contesting for Beginners

    Contesting is one of the most exciting aspects of amateur radio -- and
    for some, it's their primary ham radio activity. Amateur Radio
    Contesting for Beginners by contesting veteran Doug Grant, K1DG, offers
    practical information and ideas that will help you get started in
    contesting -- "radiosport" -- or to build your skills, if you're
    already active.

    Contesting tests station capability and operator skill, and it really
    is a sport, with a typical objective of contacting as many stations and
    multipliers -- ARRL Sections, states, grids, or DXCC entities, for
    example -- within the contest period.

    "Doug Grant has written the ideal guide for anyone interested in
    contesting," said QST Editor Steve Ford, WB8IMY.

    Grant's book explains what equipment you need, typical contest formats,
    details of some more popular events, operating techniques, how to
    submit an entry, and how to improve your scores. No matter how modest
    your station or experience, you can compete too!

    Just ahead is Winter Field Day, January 25 - 26. See the ARRL Contest
    Calendar for information on other events.

    Amateur Radio Contesting for Beginners is available from the ARRL Store
    or your ARRL Dealer. (ARRL Item no. 1243, ISBN: 978-1-62595-124-3,
    $27.95 retail, special ARRL Member Price $24.95). Call 860-594-0355 or,
    toll-free in the US, 888-277-5289. It's also available as an e-book for
    the Amazon Kindle.

    For more information about ARRL-sponsored contests, including rules and
    results, and to view the contest photo gallery, visit the ARRL Contests
    page.

    The K7RA Solar Update

    Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, reports: No sunspots appeared over the January
    16 - 22 reporting week. On January 22, Spaceweather.com reported the
    consecutive period of spotless days is 11, but all recent sunspots have
    had Cycle 25 polarity.

    The average daily solar flux dipped from 72.5 to 71.2. The average
    daily planetary A index went from 5.6 to 4.1, and the middle latitude A
    index dropped from 3.7 to 3.

    Predicted solar flux is 72 on January 23 - February 5; 71 on February 6
    - 20; 72 on February 21 - March 3; 71 on March 4, and 70 on March 5 -
    7.

    Predicted planetary A index is 5 on January 23 - 31; 10 on February 1 -
    5; 5 on February 6 - 27; 10 on February 28 - March 3, and 5 on March 4
    - 7.

    When there are no sunspots, 160 meters seems to improve, probably
    because of lower associated geomagnetic activity. The CW portion of the
    CQ World Wide 160-Meter Contest takes place this weekend.

    Sunspot numbers for January 16 - 22 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, and 0, with
    a mean of 0. The 10.7-centimeter flux was 71.8, 70.1, 71.3, 71.8, 71.2,
    70.5, and 71.9, with a mean of 71.2. Estimated planetary A indices were
    5, 3, 4, 3, 2, 6, and 6, with a mean of 4.1. Middle latitude A index
    was 4, 2, 3, 2, 2, 4, and 4, with a mean of 3.

    A comprehensive K7RA Solar Update is posted Fridays on the ARRL
    website. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the
    ARRL Technical Information Service, read "What the Numbers Mean...,"
    and check out K9LA's Propagation Page.

    A propagation bulletin archive is available. Monthly charts offer
    propagation projections between the US and a dozen DX locations.

    Share your reports and observations.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Just Ahead in Radiosport
    * January 23 -- NAQCC CW Sprint
    * January 24 - 26 -- CQ 160-Meter Contest (CW)
    * January 25 - 26 -- REF Contest (CW)
    * January 25 - 26 -- BARTG RTTY Sprint
    * January 25 - 26 -- UBA DX Contest, SSB
    * January 25 - 26 -- Winter Field Day (CW, phone, digital)
    * January 27 -- QCX Challenge (CW)
    * January 29 -- UKEICC 80-Meter Contest (CW)

    See the ARRL Contest Calendar for more information. For in-depth
    reporting on amateur radio contesting, subscribe to The ARRL Contest
    Update via your ARRL member profile email preferences.

    IARU Region 1 Youngsters On The Air Summer Camp 2020 Will Be in Croatia

    The 10th annual Youngsters On The Air (YOTA) camp will be held this
    summer in Karlovac, Croatia -- not far from the capital city of Zagreb
    -- International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Region 1 Youth Working
    Group Chair Lisa Leenders, PA2LS, has announced. The Croatian Amateur
    Radio Association -- Croatia's IARU member-society -- will serve as
    host of the August 8 - 15 event. Participation is aimed at young radio
    amateurs living in IARU Region 1 (Europe, Africa, and the Middle East).

    "In this YOTA Camp we will be continuing with our train-the-trainer
    (TTT) program, which will be the main theme of the week," Leenders
    said. "Participants will be working on the future of amateur radio and
    will be involved in workshops where they gain skills to start similar
    amateur radio youth events when they are back home. With this, we are
    aiming to create a snowball effect, so there will be more and more YOTA
    events all over the world. This also allows other youngsters and
    newcomers to enjoy amateur radio."

    Leenders said camp participants will also be able to enjoy getting on
    the air, as well as building electronic kits.

    Each IARU member-society in Region 1 is invited to sponsor teams of up
    to four camp participants. Team members will be age 15 to 25 and not
    have attended a previous YOTA camp. Overall participation is limited to
    80 campers.

    The inaugural Youth On The Air Camp in the Americas will take place
    this June 21 - 26 at the National Voice of America Museum of
    Broadcasting in West Chester Township, Ohio. For more information,
    email Camp Director Neil Rapp, WB9VPG, or call 812-327-0749.
    AMSAT: GOLF-TEE Initiative Meets Major Milestone

    AMSAT reports that an array of GOLF-TEE (Greater Orbit Larger Footprint
    - Technology Evaluation Environment) satellite prototype boards
    transmitted telemetry for the first time on January 14.

    "The boards are laid out on a bench as a 'flat-sat,' with
    interconnecting wires, bench power supplies, and a dummy load on the
    transmitter," AMSAT said. The interconnected boards include an early
    radiation-tolerant internal housekeeping unit (IHU, i.e., computer)
    prototype; a control interface prototype, and a set of spare boards
    from HuskySat-1 that act as prototypes for the legacy IHU and legacy
    VHF/UHF RF components.

    "Now that the development team has reached this point, it has RF to use
    as a basis for developing a GOLF-TEE decoder for FoxTelem, the ground
    telemetry receiver software," AMSAT said. "Thousands of hours of work
    by many AMSAT volunteers have gone into the hardware and software that
    got GOLF-TEE this far, with much work yet to be done before flight
    units are ready."

    GOLF-TEE is designed as a low-Earth orbit testbed for technologies
    necessary for successful CubeSat missions to a wide variety of orbits,
    including medium- and high-Earth orbits. "Higher is clearly better when
    it comes to amateur radio satellites," AMSAT says on its website
    explanation of the GOLF program. "The larger footprint, which brings
    more DX opportunities and more good passes per day, also provides for a
    longer orbital lifetime, and slower motion across the sky. This results
    in longer pass durations and easier tracking." Higher orbits introduce
    a new set of engineering challenges, AMSAT concedes, including higher
    power and antennas with greater gain.

    "GOLF is designed to continue the growth of AMSAT's CubeSat abilities,
    incorporating new systems such as software-defined radios and
    deployable solar panels into a 3U spaceframe." AMSAT explained. "GOLF
    will also continue AMSAT's educational partnership outreach that takes
    advantage of the synergies that amateur radio satellites and education
    have to offer the public."

    AMSAT has invited donations to further the project. It's also seeking
    additional volunteers. -- Thanks to AMSAT News Service

    ITU Development Sector Publication Highlights Amateur Radio's Role in
    Emergency Communication

    Amateur radio is featured in the publication ITU Guidelines for
    national emergency telecommunication plans, published by the
    International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Development Sector (ITU-D).
    The publication notes that radio amateurs have supported communication
    in emergency situations on a voluntary basis since the dawn of radio.

    "They are experts in radio communications and have the equipment,
    skills, and necessary frequencies allocated by ITU to deploy networks
    in emergency events quickly and efficiently," the publication says.
    ITU-D said amateur radio support offers "great coverage due to the
    large number of amateur radio stations available;" training programs
    and exercises that have been developed for emergency communication;
    "qualified temporary volunteers who provide skills and experience
    essential for emergency telecommunications;" problem-solving skills for
    working with "often very limited resources," and the ability to work
    with alternative power sources.

    Past ARRL President and IARU Secretary Rod Stafford, W6ROD, represents
    the International Amateur Radio Union at ITU-D meetings. -- Thanks to
    Southgate Amateur Radio News; IARU
    ARISS Opens Window for ISS Ham Radio Contact Proposals on February 1

    Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is once again
    seeking formal and informal education institutions and organizations --
    individually or working together -- interested in hosting an amateur
    radio contact with an International Space Station (ISS) crew member. A
    window to accept proposals will open on February 1 for contacts that
    would be scheduled between January and June 2021. The majority of ARISS
    contacts involve schools and educational institutions. ARISS is looking
    for organizations able to attract a large number of participants that
    can integrate the contact opportunity into a well-developed education
    plan.

    "ARISS contacts afford education audiences the opportunity to learn
    firsthand from astronauts what it is like to live and work in space and
    to learn about space research conducted on the ISS," ARISS said in
    announcing the proposal period. "Students will also have an opportunity
    to learn about satellite communication, wireless technology, and radio
    science."

    Proposal information and documents are available on the ARISS website.
    Two identical ARISS introductory webinars have been set for January 23
    at 9 PM EST (0200 UTC on January 24) and for January 27 at 6 PM EST
    (2300 UTC). Registration is required.

    Contacts with ISS crew members run approximately 10 minutes in length
    and allow students to interact with the astronauts through a
    question-and-answer session. ARISS contacts are voice-only amateur
    radio communication opportunities. Schools and organizations typically
    work with a local amateur radio club to assist in handling the
    technical aspects of carrying out a successful contact with the ISS.

    Astronaut Reid Wiseman, KF5LKT, on
    the air at NA1SS on board the ISS in
    2014. [NASA, photo]

    ARISS stresses that because of the nature of human spaceflight and the
    complexity of scheduling activities aboard the ISS, schools and
    organizations must be flexible in accommodating changes in radio
    contact dates and times.

    "Amateur radio organizations around the world with the support of NASA
    and space agencies in Russia, Canada, Japan, and Europe present
    educational organizations with this opportunity," ARISS said. "The ham
    radio organizations' volunteer efforts provide the equipment and
    operational support to enable communication between crew on the ISS and
    students around the world using amateur radio."

    Proposal information and more details are available on the ARISS
    website. Contact ARISS with any questions.
    In Brief...

    The ARRL Events app is available to use with Apple iOS and Android
    devices. A web-browser version, optimized for most browsers and other
    types of mobile devices, is also available. ARRL Events will be
    featured at Orlando HamCation 2020, February 7 - 9, which has been
    sanctioned as the 2020 ARRL Northern Florida Section Convention.

    The Perseverance DX Group VP8PJ DXpedition to South Orkney has received
    permission from the National Science Foundation to land and camp on the
    Antarctic island. Receipt of the Antarctic Conservation Act Permit
    culminates a months-long approval process involving several
    governmental agencies. VP8PJ is expected to commence operation on
    February 20 and continue until March 5. The DXpedition's equipment
    container arrived by sea in Punta Arenas, Chile, on January 13, and the
    MV Braveheart will transport the operating team and the gear from there
    to the South Orkneys and back. Set-up on the island is expected to take
    2 days. Contact the DXpedition for more information.

    The Lagunaria DX Group is planning a "large-scale DXpedition" to
    Timor-Leste (4W) in the October/November 2020 timeframe. "We currently
    have one team member in Timor-Leste negotiating with different
    ministries, companies, and accommodation facilities," said team member
    Chris Janssen, DL1MGB. "Right now, we have positive feedback from all.
    We even already have a confirmed reservation for two close-by lodges to
    have enough space to host up to 10 stations." Janssen said the team
    will consist of 18 operators and will participate seriously in both CQ
    World Wide DX contests this fall. ditional details will be available
    soon on the DXpedition website. Timor-Leste is the 67th most-wanted
    DXCC entity, according to Club Log. -- Thanks to The Daily DX

    A team of German DXers will operate as HU1DL from the Central American
    country of El Salvador, starting in late January and continuing until
    February 13. "Everything is well prepared. We are ready!" said an
    announcement from Rolf Thieme, DL7VEE. The team will be transporting
    its own equipment, which will include Elecraft K3 transceivers and
    full-power amplifiers. Three stations will be on the air around the
    clock on CW, SSB, RTTY, and FT8, with a focus on the lower bands.
    Thieme said HU1DL will operate mostly in FT8 fox/hound mode. HU1DL
    plans to be active on 60 meters, CW, and FT8. -- Thanks to The Daily DX

    Spanish radio amateurs may exchange their current longer-format call
    signs for permanent 2 * 1 call signs, and some familiar Spanish call
    signs are likely to be changing. Salva Moreno, EA5BB, told ARRL that
    hams in Spain who decided to make the change are now awaiting the
    official license documents, so they can use their new call signs on the
    air. Moreno's new call sign will be EA5U. To be eligible, applicants
    must have held a license issued by Spanish authorities without any
    sanctions and have at least 15 years of experience in "international
    amateur radio."

    The 17th International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) High Speed Telegraphy
    (HST) World Championship will take place August 20 - 24 in Ulaanbaatar,
    Mongolia. Europe's HST Cup and Balkan HST Championships will take place
    May 8 - 12 in Elbasan, Albania. Although not an IARU-recognized event,
    this international competition is widely accepted by the HST community
    as an opportunity for top competitors to check their form before the
    world championship, for teams to test new candidates for a national
    team, and for those unable to participate at the World Championship to
    still enjoy top-level competition. -- Thanks to IARU Region 1

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions
    * January 25 -- ARRL Midwest Conference, Collinsville, Illinois
    * February 1 -- South Carolina State Convention, North Charleston,
    South Carolina
    * February 1 -- Virginia State Convention, Richmond, VA
    * February 7 - 9 -- Northern Florida Section Convention, Orlando,
    Florida
    * February 14 - 15 -- Southwest Division Convention, Yuma, Arizona
    * March 7 - Delta Division Convention, Russellville, Arkansas
    * March 13 - 14 -- North Carolina Section Convention, Concord, North
    Carolina
    * March 14 - 15 -- Great Lakes Division Convention, Perrysburg, OH
    * March 14 -- Nebraska State Convention, Lincoln, NE
    * March 14 -- West Virginia Section Convention, Charleston, West
    Virginia
    * March 21 -- West Texas Section Convention, Midland, Texas

    Find conventions and hamfests in your area.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    ARRL -- Your One-Stop Resource for
    Amateur Radio News and Information.

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    Copyright (c) 2020 American Radio Relay League, Incorporated. Use and
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    --- SendMsg/2

    --- Squish/386 v1.11
    * Origin: Outpost BBS * Limestone, TN, USA (1:18/200)
  • From Sean Dennis@1:18/200 to All on Fri Jan 31 09:05:02 2020
    The ARRL Letter
    January 30, 2020

    * ARRL to Argue for Continued Access to 3 GHz Spectrum as FCC Sets
    Comment Deadlines
    * ARRL Expands Its Roster of Online Discussion Groups
    * Yukon's VY1JA Plans to Be Back for 2020 ARRL November Sweepstakes
    CW
    * The K7RA Solar Update
    * Just Ahead in Radiosport
    * New Amateur Extra-Class Question Pool Released
    * HuskySat-1 With VHF/UHF Linear Transponder Set to Deploy Soon
    * State QSO Party Challenge Announced
    * Iowa State Parks on the Air 2020 Celebrates Centennial of Iowa
    State Parks
    * YOTA Camp 2020 in the Americas Donations Are Being Matched
    * Past ARRL Southeastern Division Director H. Dale Strieter, W4QM, SK
    * In Brief...
    * Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions
    ARRL to Argue for Continued Access to 3 GHz Spectrum as FCC Sets
    Comment Deadlines

    At its annual meeting on January 17 - 18, the ARRL Board of Directors
    instructed Washington Counsel Dave Siddall, K3ZJ, to prepare a strong
    response to protect amateur access to spectrum in the 3 GHz range. In
    its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in WT Docket 19-348, the FCC
    proposed to relocate all non-federal operations, including amateur
    uses, to spectrum outside the 3.3 - 3.55 GHz band.

    The ARRL Board met January 17 - 18
    in Windsor, Connecticut. [Michelle
    Patnode, W3MVP, photo]

    The Commission anticipates auctioning this spectrum to expand
    commercial use of 5G cellular and wireless broadband services, if
    agreement can be reached on relocation of -- or sharing with -- the
    federal incumbents that operate in the same band. Publication of the
    NPRM in the Federal Register on January 22 established deadlines of
    February 21 for comments and March 23 for reply comments.

    The FCC has requested comment on the uses radio amateurs make of the
    spectrum and appropriate relocation options. Complicating matters is
    the fact that radio amateurs must consider the possibility that the
    immediately adjacent 3.1 - 3.3 GHz band is included in the spectrum
    that Congress has identified for similar study. FCC Commissioner
    Michael O'Rielly, in a December statement, referenced the fact that the
    lower band may also be considered for non-federal reallocation,
    potentially limiting relocation possibilities.

    Amateurs make substantial use of the 3.3 - 3.5 GHz band that would be
    hard to replicate elsewhere, and they had filed more than 150 comments
    before the designated comment period even began. Among users looking at
    options are those who use this spectrum for Earth-Moon-Earth
    (moonbounce) communication, mesh networks, experiments with
    communication over long distances, radiosport, and amateur television.
    A portion of the band is also designated for use by amateur satellites
    in ITU Regions 2 and 3 (the Americas and Asia/Pacific).

    A report is due by March 23 from the National Telecommunications and
    Information ministration (NTIA) evaluating the feasibility of having
    federal users share all or part of the 3.1 - 3.55 GHz band with
    commercial wireless services. This report is required by the Making
    Opportunities for Broadband Investment and Limiting Excessive and
    Needless Obstacles to Wireless (MOBILE NOW) Act. The results of the
    NTIA report will impact how much spectrum ultimately may be
    re-allocated for auction to wireless providers.

    ARRL urges amateurs who comment to inform the FCC about the uses they
    make of the 3 GHz spectrum. Short comments and longer statements may be
    filed electronically. Visit the FCC "How to Comment on FCC Proceedings"
    page for more information. Commenters should reference WT Docket
    19-348.
    ARRL Expands Its Roster of Online Discussion Groups

    ARRL's Committee on Communication with Members has launched three new
    online discussion forums as part of its ongoing efforts to enhance and
    improve communication between ARRL leadership and members or
    prospective members. The new forums, which focus on antenna law,
    regulatory issues, and support for new amateur radio licensees, will go
    live on Thursday, January 30, at 0400 UTC.

    The committee launched the three new discussion groups on the basis of
    requests from the amateur radio community, to support ARRL's efforts to
    provide more resources for beginner-to-intermediate operators.

    The online discussion program launched last fall with three forums --
    contesting, awards, and the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) --
    all open to the amateur radio community. The program was based on the
    success of the online ARRL-LoTW Group, which, for the past several
    years, has served to answer questions and generate discussions about
    ways to improve the service.
    * ARRL New England Division Director and attorney Fred Hopengarten,
    K1VR, will moderate the Antenna Law and Policy Forum. Hopengarten
    is the author of Antenna Zoning for the Radio Amateur.
    * ARRL Regulatory Affairs Manager Dan Henderson, N1ND, will moderate
    the Regulatory Affairs forum.
    * QST Editor and ARRL Publications Manager Steve Ford, WB8IMY, will
    moderate the New Hams forum.

    ARRL IT Manager Michael Keane, K1MK, worked with Groups.io to set up
    the new groups. Those wishing to subscribe must use a Groups.io
    username and password, if they have one, or create a Groups.io account
    if they don't.

    The new groups join an ARRL discussion forum lineup that already
    includes:
    * ARRL-Contesting, moderated by ARRL Contest visory Committee
    Chairman Dennis Egan, W1UE.
    * ARRL-Awards, moderated by ARRL Radiosport and Field Services
    Manager Bart Jahnke, W9JJ.
    * ARRL-IARU, moderated by IARU Secretary David Sumner, K1ZZ.
    * ARRL-LOTW, moderated by ARRL IT Manager Michael Keane, K1MK.

    Everyone who subscribes to an ARRL Group is automatically subscribed to
    "ARRL Groups," an administrative feature that allows ARRL to convey
    routine announcements to subscribers of all ARRL groups, such as
    planned system outages.

    ARRL expects to create additional online groups that focus on other
    areas of interest to radio amateurs, including ARRL activities,
    services, initiatives, and policies.

    ARRL currently hosts some "members-only" online forums that include the
    topics of Awards and Contesting. While these forums will continue to
    operate, participants are being encouraged to post new topics in the
    new groups.

    All questions will be welcome, no matter how many times they have
    already been asked and answered, or how obvious the answers might be.
    Neither personal attacks nor foul language will be tolerated. Violators
    will immediately be placed on "moderated" status, meaning their
    subsequent posts will require Moderator approval. Civility and courtesy
    are expected, even when disagreeing.

    The Committee believes that providing more opportunities for two-way
    discussion between the organization's leaders and the entire ham radio
    community will assist ARRL in truly serving the needs of this
    community. -- Thanks to ARRL Communications Manager Dave Isgur, N1RSN

    Yukon's VY1JA Plans to Be Back for 2020 ARRL November Sweepstakes CW

    ARRL November Sweepstakes stalwart J. Allen, VY1JA, in Canada's Yukon
    Territory, may not be off the air quite yet. Allen announced his
    retirement from ham radio last November, but now says he plans to keep
    a small station on the air "for as long as possible," leaving one
    antenna tower in place. Allen told ARRL earlier this month that there's
    a "strong likelihood" he'll return for the 2020 ARRL November
    Sweepstakes CW in the Low Power category, using his own call sign.

    For the past few years, the remotely operated VY1AAA, using equipment
    and antennas located at VY1JA, has been among the precious few stations
    handing out the Northern Territories multiplier in Sweepstakes. Gerry
    Hull, W1VE/VE1RM, told ARRL that the remote equipment and high-power
    amplifier have now been removed, along with the radio gear and antennas
    from Allen's larger station, which will be sold. Allen, who has been
    diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, says his current medication has
    stabilized his condition, but he's been looking ahead to the day when
    his wife, Ann, would face the task of dismantling and disposing of his
    station equipment and antennas.

    "Because I am concerned about what I will be like in a few years or so,
    I wanted to sell out the station completely so that Ann would not have
    a big problem on her hands removing poles, towers, cables, gear, and so
    on," he explained.

    Allen thanked Hull; Cary Rubenfeld, VE4EA; Chuck Cullian, K0RF, and
    Tyson Schulz, VY1SLZ, for their assistance. Rubenfeld is handling the
    sale of Allen's gear, while Schulz has pledged to assist in dismantling
    and disposing of Allen's scaled-down station when the time comes.
    Cullian has provided a transceiver for Allen, who no longer had an
    operational radio on site.

    "It means that, for as long as I remain functional, I intend to keep
    VY1JA on the air, and especially to be there for as many ARRL
    Sweepstakes as possible," Allen said.

    Hull said he and others involved with the VY1AAA remote operations have
    been looking for a new home for the VY1AAA remote gear and radio.
    The K7RA Solar Update

    Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, reports: This week, we finally saw the return
    of sunspots over 6 of the last 7 days, January 24 - 29. The average
    daily sunspot number rose from 0 to 11.1, while average daily solar
    flux jumped from 71.2 to 72.9.

    Geomagnetic indicators remained very quiet, signaling continued great
    conditions on 160 and 80 meters. Predicted solar flux over the next
    month and a half is 74 on January 30 - February 2; 70 on February 3 -
    6; 71 on February 7 - 13; 72 on February 14 - 20; 73 on February 21 -
    22; 74 on February 23 - 29; 72 on March 1 - 3; 71 on March 4 - 11, and
    72 on March 12 - 14.

    Predicted planetary A index is 8 on January 30; 5 on January 31 -
    February 24; 10 on February 25 - 26; 5 on February 27 - 29; 8 on March
    1 - 3, and 5 on March 4 - 14.

    On January 27, the total sunspot area was 100 millionth of the visible
    solar disc. The total sunspot area hasn't been larger or even near that
    size since May 18, 2019, when the area was 140 millionth of the visible
    solar disk.

    Sunspot numbers for January 23 - 29 were 0, 12, 14, 18, 12, 11, and 11,
    with a mean of 11.1. The 10.7-centimeter flux was 70.8, 71, 72.7, 74.7,
    72.9, 74.2, and 74.3, with a mean of 72.9. Estimated planetary A
    indices were 5, 3, 3, 4, 3, 5, and 9, with a mean of 4.6. Middle
    latitude A index was 3, 1, 3, 2, 2, 4, and 6, with a mean of 3.

    A comprehensive K7RA Solar Update is posted Fridays on the ARRL
    website. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the
    ARRL Technical Information Service, read "What the Numbers Mean...,"
    and check out K9LA's Propagation Page.

    A propagation bulletin archive is available. Monthly charts offer
    propagation projections between the US and a dozen DX locations.

    Share your reports and observations.

    Just Ahead in Radiosport
    * February 1 -- Minnesota QSO Party (CW, phone, digital)
    * February 1 -- FYBO Winter QRP Sprint (CW, phone, digital)
    * February 1 -- AGCW Straight Key Party (CW)
    * February 1 -- FISTS Winter Slow Speed Sprint (CW)
    * February 1 -- Black Sea Cup International (CW, phone)
    * February 1 - 2 -- Vermont QSO Party (CW, phone, digital)
    * February 1 - 2 -- 10-10 International Winter Contest, SSB
    * February 1 - 2 -- F9AA Cup, CW
    * February 1 - 2 -- Mexico RTTY International Contest
    * February 1 - 2 -- British Columbia QSO Party (CW, phone, digital)
    * February 2 -- North American Sprint, CW
    * February 3 -- 3.5 RSGB 80-Meter Club Championship, SSB
    * February 4 -- ARS Spartan Sprint (CW)
    * February 5 -- UKEICC 80-Meter Contest (Phone)
    * February 6 -- NRAU 10-Meter Activity Contest (CW, phone, digital)
    * February 6 -- SKCC Sprint Europe (CW)

    See the ARRL Contest Calendar for more information. For in-depth
    reporting on amateur radio contesting, subscribe to The ARRL Contest
    Update via your ARRL member profile email preferences.
    New Amateur Extra-Class Question Pool Released

    The new Amateur Extra-class license examination question pool,
    effective from July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2024, has been released
    and is available at the National Conference of Volunteer Coordinators
    (NCVEC) website.

    The 2020 - 2024 Extra-class pool incorporates significant changes
    compared to the current 2016 - 2020 question pool, which expires on
    June 30. The number of questions in the pool was reduced from 712 to
    622. The result was 239 modified questions, 49 new questions, and 139
    questions removed due to changes in what was felt to be an abundance of
    outdated questions, while areas of new technology and subjects were
    added.

    In addition, an effort was made to balance the difficulty level,
    removing or replacing some questions deemed too easy or too difficult
    compared to the rest of the pool.

    The 2020 pool has 10 diagrams, which have been renumbered because the
    new question pool has two fewer than the 2016 question pool.

    HuskySat-1 With VHF/UHF Linear Transponder Set to Deploy Soon

    The University of Washington's HuskySat-1 3U CubeSat, launched November
    2, 2019, is set to deploy on January 31 after the vehicle that carried
    it to the International Space Station undocks. HuskySat-1 has remained
    stowed aboard a Northrop Grumman Cygnus supply vehicle. Within 24 hours
    after Cygnus' departure from the ISS, HuskySat-1 and SwampSat 2 will be
    deployed into orbit.

    University of Washington graduate
    student Paige Northway with
    HuskySat-1. She has been involved in
    the project since its inception.

    After deployment, HuskySat-1's 1,200 bps BPSK beacon on 435.800 MHz
    should be active and decodable with the latest release of AMSAT's
    FoxTelem software. HuskySat-1 is expected to carry out its primary
    mission before being turned over to AMSAT for amateur radio operation.

    HuskySat-1 features a 30 kHz wide V/U linear transponder for SSB and
    CW. The uplink passband will be 145.910 - 145.940 MHz LSB/CW. The
    downlink passband will be 435.840 - 435.810 MHz USB/CW (inverting).
    Telemetry will be transmitted on 435.800 MHz, 1k2 bps BPSK with an
    experimental downlink at 24.049 GHz. The "Fox-in-a-Box" FoxTelem
    software has been updated for HuskySat-1 operation at its download
    website. The new release now contains the SD card image,
    FIAB-distro8-V1.08w.zip. This file, when unzipped and written to a 16
    GB SD card, will provide the latest software for FoxTelem and will run
    on a Raspberry Pi 4. The 1.08 versions can switch bands between
    listening on VHF and UHF, based on which Fox and Husky satellites are
    overhead at the time.

    The linear transponder and telemetry system carried aboard AMSAT's
    Fox-1E was designed for use in different CubeSats merely by adding an
    interface adapter for connection to the host bus. Noting the prevalence
    of CubeSats built and launched by universities and other organizations,
    AMSAT adopted a goal of "amateur radio in every CubeSat."

    ditional information is posted on the University of Washington Husky
    Satellite Lab site. -- Thanks to AMSAT News Service via the HuskySat-1
    Team, AMSAT Engineering, AMSAT Operations, the Fox Telemetry Team, and
    NASA
    State QSO Party Challenge Announced

    The State QSO Party Challenge is a competition comprised of other
    contests, namely state and provincial QSO parties. As explained on the
    website, the annual cumulative score program is open to any radio
    amateur who participates in any approved state QSO parties (SQPs).
    Participants just need to submit their QSO party scores to
    3830scores.com to enter the challenge.

    Participants' cumulative scores will be calculated by totaling up the
    number of reported contacts and multiplying by the number of SQPs
    entered in the year to date. Periodic standings will be posted to
    3830scores.com, the QSOParty Groups.io forum, and the StateQSOParty.com
    website.

    "Using the number of QSO parties entered as a multiplier is expected to
    encourage radio amateurs to enter more state/province QSO parties," the
    program's organizers said. "The first SQPs in 2020 are the Vermont,
    Minnesota, and British Columbia QSO Parties in the first weekend of
    February."

    Entrants must make at least two contacts in a QSO party for it to count
    as a multiplier. The full details are available on the State QSO Party
    Challenge website.

    Challenge sponsors expressed appreciation to Bruce Horn, WA7BNM, for
    developing the SQP Activity Tracker on 3830scores.com.

    Iowa State Parks on the Air 2020 Celebrates Centennial of Iowa State
    Parks

    Iowa State Parks on the Air (IASPOTA-2020) is under way and will
    continue through year's end. The event is sponsored by the Great River
    Amateur Radio Club, with the support of Iowa ARRL Section Manager Lelia
    Garner, WA0UIG, and the Iowa Division of Natural Resources (DNR).

    According to Colin Wheatley, W9UPK, Iowa had the first state park
    system in the nation, and Iowa's first state park, Backbone State Park,
    was dedicated in 1920. Since then, the state park system has grown to
    some 70 parks and recreational facilities, including 63 state parks.

    Stations logging contacts with five of Iowa's state parks during the
    year-long celebration can request a certificate by sending a legal-size
    self-addressed, sealed envelope to IASPOTA-2020 c/o Great River Amateur
    Radio Club, P.O. Box 1384, Dubuque, IA 52004.
    YOTA Camp 2020 in the Americas Donations Are Being Matched

    Youth on the Air (YOTA) 2020 Camp Director Neil Rapp, WB9VPG, has
    announced that, thanks to a generous radio amateur, a matching fund
    drive is in progress through the end of February to help fund the 2020
    YOTA Camp, June 21 - 26 at the National Voice of America Museum of
    Broadcasting in West Chester, Ohio.

    "From now until the end of February, every dollar donated to the Youth
    on the Air Camp will be matched by Steve McGrane, KM9G, up to a total
    of $4,000," Rapp said. "Your donations in support of this unique
    opportunity for youth to share ham radio with their peers will count
    double until the end of February."

    Donations may be made via PayPal, GoFundMe, or a check. Rapp said
    donations could make it possible to increase the number of campers from
    20 to 30 to better meet demand.

    "Our corporate and foundation sponsors have raised most of the funds,
    but we need clubs and individuals to finish the job," he explained.

    Rapp is an alumnus of the ARRL Teachers Institute on Wireless
    Technology TI-1 and TI-2 courses.
    Past ARRL Southeastern Division Director H. Dale Strieter, W4QM, SK

    Past ARRL Southeastern Division Director Dale Strieter, W4QM
    (ex-W4DQS), of Cocoa Beach, died on January 6. An ARRL Life Member, he
    was 92 and a founding member of the Maxim Society. Strieter was ARRL
    Southeastern Division Director from 1970 until 1973.

    During World War II, he served as a US Maritime Service radio officer
    in the Pacific. After the war, he received a BS in electrical
    engineering from Michigan State. He got his amateur radio license in
    1947. Strieter later earned an MSEE from Michigan State, and then
    worked as an audio engineer.

    In 1958, Strieter moved to Cocoa Beach to work for General Electric,
    was a NASA contractor, and he served as the guidance engineer on the
    Mercury and Gemini manned spaceflight missions.

    Strieter was a prolific DXpeditioner. After 20 years with GE, he
    returned to sea in 1979 as a radio officer in the US Merchant Marine on
    a ship generally anchored at the Chagos Islands. As VQ9QM, Strieter
    logged more than 200,000 contacts from nearby Diego Garcia Island,
    between 1986 and 2001. He retired in 2002. -- Thanks to Tom Tenney,
    W8OJM, and Don Karvonen, K8MFO
    In Brief...

    The W8S DXpedition team heading to Swains Island in the Pacific in
    March reports, "All lights are green." Team members will leave from
    home in early March, and all will convene in Pago Pago, American Samoa,
    to board the vessel Manu Atele, which will transport everyone to the
    atoll. The voyage will take 24 hours. Smaller vessels will carry the
    operators and equipment to the island at high tide, which the update
    called "a serious challenge." The ship will not remain offshore while
    the DXpedition is under way, "hopefully picking the team up again after
    14 days." An international team of 10 operators will be active from
    March 10 to March 25 on all HF bands on CW, SSB, FT8, and RTTY.
    Operation will be 24/7 from two separate camps on the island, each with
    two stations. Visit the Swains Island 2020 DXpedition website for more
    information.

    Dayton Hamvention 2020 Web Portal Opens for Tickets, Exhibit Space
    Online orders for Dayton Hamvention^(R) 2020 tickets, inside exhibit
    spaces, and flea market spots can now be placed online. Those who
    ordered online in 2019 should have their user IDs and passwords
    available when placing orders. Hamvention's all-volunteer staff will
    work as quickly as possible to respond to orders. If you encounter
    difficulties, email the appropriate committee: Tickets, Inside
    Exhibits, or Flea Market. Hamvention announced in December that it
    would be increasing the cost of admission and its booth fees. General
    admission is now $26 in advance or $31 at the gate for all 3 days. The
    cost of flea market spots has risen by $5 per space, and inside
    exhibitors will pay $30. Hamvention 2020 takes place May 15 - 17 at the
    Greene County Fairgrounds and Exhibition Center, 210 Fairground Road,
    Xenia, Ohio.

    The Northeast HamXposition -- formerly known as "Boxboro" -- is moving
    and will take place this year July 24 - 26 in Marlborough,
    Massachusetts. The new venue, the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel and
    Trade Center, is about 15 miles from Boxboro off Interstate 495 (Exit
    24A). The Northeast HamXposition, which had been held in early
    September in past years, hosts the ARRL New England Division
    Convention. "The new venue offers us much-needed additional capacity
    for forums, a larger flea market, and ample parking right in the
    hotel's main lot," said Event Chairman Bob DeMattia, K1IW. We will
    announce very soon when the hotel is accepting reservations." DeMattia
    pointed out that the Marlborough location has a lot to offer, including
    dozens of restaurants in the vicinity and the new Apex Entertainment
    Center on Route 20, adjacent to the hotel.

    The location of the W9DXCC ARRL Specialty Operating Convention has
    changed. The event will take place September 11 - 12 at the Chicago
    Marriott Hotel in Naperville, Illinois. Registration and hotel
    reservations will open in the spring. W9DXCC is sponsored by the
    Northern Illinois DX Association. This year's event will include a
    Contest University and DX University. Saturday's events will include
    forums, QSL card checking, a CW pileup contest, an evening reception,
    and a banquet. For more information, visit the W9DXCC website. --
    Thanks to Kermit Carlson, W9XA; The Daily DX

    The Alexanderson alternator 2019 Christmas Eve transmission on 17.2 kHz
    from SAQ in Grimeton, Sweden, was heard by more than 400 listeners. SAQ
    reported conditions were very good, with clear, dry weather, and the
    vintage transmitter functioned flawlessly. Lars Kålland, SM6NM, was at
    the key to deliver his last Christmas message before he retired. SAQ
    said it was "stunned" by the number of reports it received -- a total
    of 426 from 32 countries, including the US and Canada.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions
    * February 1 -- South Carolina State Convention, North Charleston,
    South Carolina
    * February 1 -- Virginia State Convention, Richmond, Virginia
    * February 7 - 9 -- Northern Florida Section Convention, Orlando,
    Florida
    * February 14 - 15 -- Southwest Division Convention, Yuma, Arizona
    * March 7 - Delta Division Convention, Russellville, Arkansas
    * March 13 - 14 -- North Carolina Section Convention, Concord, North
    Carolina
    * March 14 - 15 -- Great Lakes Division Convention, Perrysburg, Ohio
    * March 14 -- Nebraska State Convention, Lincoln, Nebraska
    * March 14 -- West Virginia Section Convention, Charleston, West
    Virginia
    * March 21 -- West Texas Section Convention, Midland, Texas
    * April 10 - 11 -- Oklahoma State Convention, Claremore, Oklahoma
    * April 11 -- Roanoke Division Convention, Raleigh, North Carolina
    * April 18 - Delaware State Convention, Georgetown, Delaware

    Find conventions and hamfests in your area.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

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    --- SendMsg/2

    --- Squish/386 v1.11
    * Origin: Outpost BBS * Limestone, TN, USA (1:18/200)
  • From Sean Dennis@1:18/200 to All on Fri Feb 7 09:05:16 2020
    The ARRL Letter
    February 6, 2020

    * ARRL HF Band Planning Committee Seeks Comments on Recommendations
    * "The Auroral Connection" to Be Focus of 2020 HamSCI Workshop
    * Undersea Expedition Planned to Retrieve Titanic's Radio Gear
    * The K7RA Solar Update
    * Just Ahead in Radiosport
    * Clayton Coleman, W5PFG, Elected AMSAT President
    * ARISS Announces Hosts for Space Station Ham Radio Contacts
    * 7X7X DXpedition Showcases Cooperation and Youth
    * President Signs PIRATE Act to Combat Illegal Broadcasting
    * In Brief...
    * Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions
    ARRL HF Band Planning Committee Seeks Comments on Recommendations

    The ARRL HF Band Planning Committee is seeking comments and suggestions
    from the amateur radio community on its report to the ARRL Board of
    Directors. At the Board's January meeting, the committee presented its
    specific recommendations in graphical form for each HF band and each US
    license class, with the goal of increasing harmony on the HF bands,
    particularly between CW and digital users.

    "In general, the committee is of the opinion that there is
    justification for additional space to become available for digital
    modes, as well as for the operation of digital stations under automatic
    control," the committee told the Board. "The very changes in spectrum
    usage that have required our committee's resurgence indicate that
    digital modes of communication are already increasing in popularity,
    and the trend is expected to continue or even accelerate. To this end,
    we have tried to ensure that digital allocations are sufficient for at
    least a modicum of growth."

    The committee also anticipates an increase in automatically controlled
    digital stations (ACDS). The report further points to "significant use"
    of modern data modes in emergency communication and said its
    recommendations provide significant support for the evolution and
    continued relevance of amateur radio. "Our failure to adapt to these
    needs could consign amateur radio to the technological scrap heap," the
    report said.

    The committee was revived last summer to consider conflicts between FT
    and JT modes and other modes. The panel's approach has been to
    designate distinct assignments for CW, narrowband (NB) data <500 Hz,
    wideband (WB) data <2800 Hz, and ACDS. For its work, the committee
    presumed approval of three ARRL petitions to the FCC: RM-11708 (WT
    Docket WT 16-239 -- "symbol rate" proceeding), RM-11759 (80/75 meter
    allocations), and RM-11828 (enhanced Technician privileges). The
    committee also assumed that users can agree to sharing arrangements
    within a given allocation -- narrowband versus wideband sharing within
    the ACDS allocation, for example. It also took into consideration how
    mode usage is regulated or planned elsewhere in the world.

    In terms of mode classes, the committee agreed on CW, NB data, WB data,
    NB with ACDS, and WB with ACDS. The committee said it considered these
    mode classes incompatible and that they should not have overlapping
    allocations, with the exception of CW, which is authorized within any
    amateur radio allocation. The committee's approach would maintain the
    existing low-end 25 kHz CW-only sub-bands for exclusive use by Amateur
    Extra-class licensees.

    The panel encouraged CW identification and a listen-before-transmitting
    protocol for ACDS, if feasible. It also decided that a single
    allocation for ACDS without regard to bandwidth would be the best
    approach. "We note that this will put responsibility on the digital
    community to hold an effective dialog on the issue and to then
    self-regulate the users of this segment to adhere to the eventual
    agreement." A need for flexibility in allocations is desirable, the
    committee said, and considered whether allocations might be time-of-day
    or time-of-week dependent, for example.

    "Modern amateurs must expect to adapt to this kind of fluid assignment
    of spectrum to incompatible uses, using time-based sharing, rather than
    only a single assignment," the committee said, expressing the hope that
    as band plan/sharing agreements are reached that they consider the
    advantage of "non-simultaneous sharing possibilities."

    Reiterating the position ARRL has taken in recent FCC filings, the
    committee said it sees encryption and open-source enforcement matters
    as being outside the scope of the Band Planning Committee.

    The Committee would like comments by February 19.
    "The Auroral Connection" to Be Focus of 2020 HamSCI Workshop

    Registration is open for the third annual HamSCI Workshop for amateur
    radio operators and professional scientists, Friday and Saturday, March
    20 - 21, at The University of Scranton. The theme of this year's
    workshop is "The Auroral Connection," and will include addresses by
    guest speakers, poster presentations, and demonstrations of relevant
    instrumentation and software. All radio amateurs, scientists, and
    anyone interested in ionospheric and space physics are welcome.

    The workshop will serve as a team meeting for the HamSCI Personal Space
    Weather Station project, a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded
    project awarded to University of Scranton physics and electrical
    engineering professor Nathaniel Frissell, W2NAF. The project seeks to
    harness the power of a network of radio amateurs to better understand
    and measure the effects of weather in the upper levels of Earth's
    atmosphere. Through the grant, Frissell, a space physicist, will lead a
    collaborative team that will develop modular, multi-instrument,
    ground-based space science observation equipment and data collection
    and analysis software. He will also recruit multiple universities and
    ham radio users to operate the network of Personal Space Weather
    Stations developed.

    In addition to Scranton, the Personal Space Weather Station project
    includes participation from TAPR; the Case Western Reserve University
    Amateur Radio Club, W8EDU; the University of Alabama; the New Jersey
    Institute of Technology Center for Solar-Terrestrial Research; MIT
    Haystack Observatory; Dartmouth College, and the ham radio community at
    large.

    Noted contester and DXer Tim Duffy, K3LR, will deliver the keynote
    address. The chief operating officer and general manager at DX
    Engineering, Duffy chairs Contest University, the Dayton Contest
    Dinner, and the Top Band Dinner, as well as coordinates the Contest
    Super Suite. He is the founder and moderator of the popular RFI
    Reflector. Duffy serves on the ARRL Foundation Board of Directors as
    well as on the board of the World Wide Radio Operators Foundation
    (WWROF), and as chairman and president emeritus of the Radio Club of
    America.

    Other speakers at the workshop include Elizabeth MacDonald, the NASA
    researcher who founded and leads the Aurorasaurus project. She will
    discuss fundamentals of auroral physics, its optical signatures, and
    the Aurorasaurus citizen science project. James LaBelle, a professor of
    physics and astronomy at Dartmouth University and auroral radio
    physicist, and David Hallidy, K2DH, a retired microwave engineer who is
    also well-known for his work in auroral-mode propagation will also
    speak.

    ditional information on the conference is available on the HamSCI
    Workshop 2020 website.

    Undersea Expedition Planned to Retrieve Titanic's Radio Gear

    The company with sole rights to salvage artifacts from the RMS Titanic
    has gone to court to gain permission to carry out a "surgical removal
    and retrieval" of the Marconi radio equipment on the ship, a Washington
    Post article reports. The Titanic sank in 1912 on its maiden voyage
    after striking an iceberg in the North Atlantic. As the radio room
    filled with water, radio operator Jack Phillips transmitted, "Come at
    once. We have struck a berg. It's a CQD, old man," and other frantic
    messages for help, using the spark transmitter on board. CQD was
    ultimately replaced with SOS -- which Phillips also used -- as the
    universal distress call. The passenger liner RMS Carpathia responded
    and rescued 705 of the passengers.

    A recreation of the Titanic radio
    room.

    As might be expected, the deteriorating Marconi equipment is in poor
    shape after more than a century under water. The undersea retrieval
    would mark the first time an artifact was collected from within the
    Titanic, which many believe should remain undisturbed as the final
    resting place of some 1,500 victims of the maritime disaster, including
    Phillips. The wreck sits on the ocean floor some 2 1/2 miles beneath
    the surface, remaining undiscovered until 1985.

    A just-signed treaty between the UK and the US grants both countries
    authority to allow or deny access to the wreck and to remove items
    found outside the vessel. "This momentous agreement with the United
    States to preserve the wreck means it will be treated with the
    sensitivity and respect owed to the final resting place of more than
    1,500 lives," British Transport and Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani said
    in a statement.

    The request to enter the rapidly disintegrating wreck was filed in US
    District Court in Eastern Virginia by RMS Titanic, Inc. of Atlanta,
    Georgia, which said that it hopes to restore the Titanic radio
    transmitter to operating condition, if it is allowed to go forward.

    The company plans to use a manned submarine to reach the wreck and then
    deploy a remotely controlled sub that would perforate the hull and
    retrieve the radio equipment.
    The K7RA Solar Update

    Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, reports: We saw a nice run of Cycle 24 and
    Cycle 25 sunspots from January 24 through February 1. The daily sunspot
    number reached a short-term peak of 18 on January 26.

    Average daily sunspot numbers declined from the 11.1 reported last week
    to 4.7 during the current reporting week, January 30 - February 5.

    Predicted solar flux for the next 45 days is 70 on February 6 - 13; 72
    on February 14 - 20; 73 on February 21 - 22; 74 on February 23 - 29; 72
    on March 1 - 3; 71 on March 4 - 11; 72 on March 12 - 18; 73 on March 19
    - 20, and 74 on March 21.

    Predicted planetary A index is 12 and 8 on February 6 - 7; 5 on
    February 8 - 24; 10 on February 25 - 26; 5 on February 27 - 29; 8 on
    March 1 - 3, and 5 on March 4 - 21.

    Sunspot numbers for January 30 through February 5 were 11, 11, 11, 0,
    0, 0, and 0, with a mean of 4.7. The 10.7-centimeter flux was 74.1,
    73.9, 72.5, 72.2, 72.1, 70.3, and 70.6, with a mean of 72.2. Estimated
    planetary A indices were 12, 8, 6, 6, 5, 5, and 5, with a mean of 6.7.
    Middle latitude A index was 9, 6, 4, 4, 3, 5, and 4, with a mean of 5.

    A comprehensive K7RA Solar Update is posted Fridays on the ARRL
    website. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the
    ARRL Technical Information Service, read "What the Numbers Mean...,"
    and check out K9LA's Propagation Page.

    A propagation bulletin archive is available. Monthly charts offer
    propagation projections between the US and a dozen DX locations.

    Share your reports and observations.

    Just Ahead in Radiosport
    * February 8 -- FISTS Winter Unlimited Sprint (CW)
    * February 8 -- RSGB 1.8 MHz Contest (CW)
    * February 8 -- Asia-Pacific Spring Sprint (CW)
    * February 8 - 9 -- CQ World Wide RTTY WPX Contest
    * February 8 - 9 -- SARL Field Day Contest (CW, phone, digital)
    * February 8 - 9 -- KCJ Topband Contest (CW)
    * February 8 - 9 -- Dutch PACC Contest (CW, phone)
    * February 8 - 9 -- SKCC Weekend Sprintathon (CW)
    * February 8 - 10 -- YLRL YL-OM Contest (CW, phone, digital)
    * February 8 - 9 -- OMISS QSO Party (Phone)
    * February 9 -- Balkan HF Contest (CW, phone)
    * February 9 - 12 -- Classic Exchange, Phone
    * February 10 -- CQC Winter QSO Party (CW)
    * February 10 -- 4 States QRP Group Second Sunday Sprint (CW, phone)
    * February 10 - 14 -- ARRL School Club Roundup (CW, phone)
    * February 12 -- NAQCC CW Sprint
    * February 12 -- RSGB 80-Meter Club Championship (Digital)

    See the ARRL Contest Calendar for more information. For in-depth
    reporting on amateur radio contesting, subscribe to The ARRL Contest
    Update via your ARRL member profile email preferences.
    Clayton Coleman, W5PFG, Elected AMSAT President

    During a teleconference meeting this week, the AMSAT Board of Directors
    elected Clayton Coleman, W5PFG, of Granbury, Texas, as AMSAT President.
    Coleman had served as a member of the Board of Directors and as AMSAT
    Secretary from 2017 until 2019, and he has volunteered in several other
    capacities for AMSAT, including as chair of the 2016 AMSAT Space
    Symposium. He succeeds Joe Spier, K6WAO, who resigned recently, citing
    personal reasons, after being in office since October 2017.

    Coleman was introduced to amateur radio in space through the SAREX
    program -- the forerunner to ARISS -- and the Russian Mir space
    station. His interest in setting up an AX.25 BBS and nodes in the early
    1990s led him to try making contacts via the Mir Personal Message
    System (PMS) and digipeater. In 2011, Coleman became interested in
    OSCAR satellites and began chasing operating awards.

    Coleman's focus as president will be working with members to improve
    organizational processes and aligning them with strategic goals.
    Professionally, Coleman works in the industrial process control sector
    both as a consultant and business development manager.

    AMSAT members will have an opportunity to meet Coleman at Orlando
    HamCation on Saturday, February 8, when he will greet visitors at the
    AMSAT booth from 9:30 - 10:30 AM and 2 - 3 PM. He will also speak at
    the AMSAT Forum at 12:30 PM on Saturday in Room CS III at the Lakeside
    Pavilion. -- Thanks to AMSAT News Service

    ARISS Announces Hosts for Space Station Ham Radio Contacts

    Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) has announced
    the names of schools and organizations selected to host amateur radio
    contacts with International Space Station crew members during the
    second half of 2020.

    Ten proposals were accepted to move forward in the selection process
    and placed in a scheduling queue for an amateur radio contact between
    July and December 2020. Although ARISS expects to schedule all 10
    during this period, changes to NASA crew availability may force
    postponement of some contact opportunities until the first half of
    2021.

    The schools and host organizations are:
    * Estes Park Elementary School, Estes Park, Colorado
    * Green Bank Elementary-Middle School, Green Bank, West Virginia
    * Tecumseh Public School, Tecumseh, Oklahoma
    * Regional School Unit 21, Kennebunk, Maine
    * John F. Kennedy High School, Denver, Colorado
    * Oregon Charter School, Mill City, Oregon
    * Newcastle High School; Newcastle, Wyoming
    * Tarwater Elementary School, Chandler, Arizona
    * Kopernik Observatory and Science Center, Vestal, New York
    * Salem-South Lyon District Library, South Lyon, Michigan

    7X7X DXpedition Showcases Cooperation and Youth

    A cooperative agreement the Algerian and Tunisian IARU member-societies
    signed in 2014 to reinforce relations through joint activities bore
    fruit with the 7X7X DXpedition to Algeria late last year. Preparations
    began in late October 2019, with the goal of activating Algeria on the
    low bands to benefit from the slump in the solar cycle.

    Co-leader Ash Chaabane, 3V8SF/KF5EYY, said organizers wanted to take
    advantage of the DXpedition to boost interest among younger hams. Four
    young people were involved in the event as a result: Sarra, 7X2QV;
    Lotfi Kara, 7X2QC; Marwa, 3V8CB, and Ahmed Boubaker, 3V1B/KG5OUE, who
    are all in their 20s. Three of them have participated in Youngsters On
    The Air (YOTA) events sponsored by the International Amateur Radio
    Union (IARU). Chaabane said the youthful contingent was involved from
    setup to tear down, in addition to operating.

    In addition to Chaabane, the team included co-leader Afif Ben Lagha,
    7X2RO; Brahim Mohamed, 7X3TL; Redha el Bahi, 7X5QB, and Abdelghani
    Mesbah, 7X2TT/M0NPT. The Tunisian team flew from Tunis to Algiers,
    arriving on December 28 in Bejaia to join the Algerian team. "We
    immediately started putting up antennas," Chaabane said.

    7X2TT kicked off the operation through the Es'hail satellite,
    demonstrating for the benefit of the younger operators how ham radio
    satellites work. The rest of the team built a nearly 40-foot tall
    inverted L for 160 meters; a full quarter-wave vertical for 80 meters;
    a two-element Fritzel Yagi for the high bands; a seven-element Yagi for
    VHF; a K9AY receiving loop, and a ground plane for 30 meters, which
    operated on 40 meters as well with the addition of a loading coil.

    "We did our best to operate two stations at a time," Chaabane
    recounted. "We had quite few technical issues, but we overcame them."
    7X7X ended up logging 5,800 contacts in 4 days, and the operating
    schedule was intentionally flexible.

    The mode breakdown showed 38% CW, 55% SSB, and 7% FT8. "We had 1,121
    QSOs on 160 and 798 on 80," Chaabane said, with 356 US and 30 JA
    contacts on 160 meters.

    One objective of the DXpedition was to bond and form a strong team
    capable of larger operations in the future, Chaabane said.

    The DXpedition team expressed its appreciation for the support from the
    Northern California DX Foundation (NCDXF), the Lone Star DX Association
    (LSDXA), and the Mediterraneo DX Club (MDXC), as well as some
    individual hams. "This support is a solid investment into the future of
    the ham radio hobby," Chaabane said. "We urge all DXpeditioners to
    involve youngsters in their future trips and do their best to make it
    easy and least costly for them." -- Thanks to IARU

    President Signs PIRATE Act to Combat Illegal Broadcasting

    On January 24, President Donald Trump signed into law the "Preventing
    Illegal Radio Abuse Through Enforcement Act," or the PIRATE Act. The
    measure, which amends the Communications Act of 1934, authorizes
    enhanced penalties for violators. Under the new law, pirate radio
    broadcasters would be subject to a fine of not more than $2 million,
    and violators could be fined up to $100,000 for each day during which
    an offense occurs. The new law stipulates that the FCC "shall not
    decrease or diminish the regular enforcement efforts targeted to pirate
    radio broadcast stations for other times of the year."

    The FCC is to submit to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and
    the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation a report
    summarizing the implementation of this section and associated
    enforcement activities for the previous fiscal year. The new law also
    requires "annual sweeps," during which FCC personnel will be assigned
    to "focus specific and sustained attention on the elimination of pirate
    radio broadcasting within the top five radio markets identified as
    prevalent for such broadcasts." The Commission also "shall conduct
    monitoring sweeps to ascertain whether the pirate radio broadcasting
    identified by enforcement sweeps is continuing and whether additional
    pirate radio broadcasting is occurring."

    Under the new law, the FCC will change its rules so that it proceeds
    directly to issuance of a Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL) without
    first issuing a Notice of Unlicensed Operation (NOUO).

    The FCC will develop and publish a database of all licensed AM and FM
    broadcasters, accessible directly from the FCC home page. The FCC is
    also required to publish a list of "all entities that have received a
    Notice of Unlicensed Operation, Notice of Apparent Liability, or
    forfeiture order," as well as "each entity...operating without a
    Commission license or authorization."

    The law defines pirate radio broadcasting as transmitting within the AM
    and FM bands without an FCC license, but excluding unlicensed
    operations in compliance with Part 15.
    In Brief...

    Brief Interruptions of ARRL Headquarters Systems are planned for
    Thursday, February 13. The ARRL IT Department anticipates two short
    interruptions to these Headquarters-based systems: Logbook of The
    World; Online DXCC; International Grid Chase Archive; National Parks on
    the Air Archive; Centennial QSO Party Archive, and the W1AW EchoLink
    Conference Server. The interruptions should occur on Thursday, February
    13, between 1200 - 2200 UTC. Each interruption should be less than 10
    minutes in length.

    Former ARRL East Bay Section Manager Ti-Michelle Connelly, NJ6T, of
    Yuma, Arizona, died late last week. She served as SM from 2003 until
    2007. An ARRL Life Member, she was 72. The California native also held
    other Field Organization appointments, including Net Manager,
    Affiliated Club Coordinator, Assistant Section Manager, and Official
    Emergency Station. Connelly was also an ARRL VEC and W5YI VEC Volunteer
    Examiner. "Her spirit and fun will be sorely missed by many of us this
    year," said a friend, Kristen McIntyre, K6WX.

    The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) has completed the makeover
    of its main website and the three regional websites -- all with the
    same basic design. The three regional sites can be accessed directly
    from the IARU home page. All of the updated pages are organized to
    broadly mirror the structure of the International Telecommunication
    Union (ITU) and its related regional telecommunication organizations.
    The Region 2 web page is available in English or Spanish. Each page
    offers a look at recent IARU news and events. -- Thanks to IARU
    Secretary David Sumner, K1ZZ

    Amateur radio volunteers in Turkey supported the response to a powerful
    magnitude 6.8 earthquake that struck the province of Elazig on January
    24. Radio amateurs affiliated with the national International Amateur
    Radio Union member-society TRAC assisted in the response. Aziz Sasa,
    TA1E, at TRAC Headquarters reported, "The affected area was very small
    and the intensity limited; our involvement was also limited." He said
    two TRAC branches in the affected area stepped in, assisting by
    providing tactical communication in the affected area and supporting
    the Ministry of Health by installing and getting their mountaintop
    repeater operational. "Due to the relatively limited scale of the
    disaster, foreign assistance was not needed," he told IARU Region 1
    Emergency Communications Coordinator Greg Mossop, G0DUB. The earthquake
    caused about 40 deaths and more than 1,600 injuries as well as
    considerable property damage.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions
    * February 7 - 9 -- Northern Florida Section Convention, Orlando,
    Florida
    * February 14 - 15 -- Southwest Division Convention, Yuma, Arizona
    * March 7 - Delta Division Convention, Russellville, Arkansas
    * March 13 - 14 -- North Carolina Section Convention, Concord, North
    Carolina
    * March 14 - 15 -- Great Lakes Division Convention, Perrysburg, Ohio
    * March 14 -- Nebraska State Convention, Lincoln, Nebraska
    * March 14 -- West Virginia Section Convention, Charleston, West
    Virginia
    * March 21 -- West Texas Section Convention, Midland, Texas
    * April 10 - 11 -- Oklahoma State Convention, Claremore, Oklahoma
    * April 11 -- Roanoke Division Convention, Raleigh, North Carolina
    * April 18 -- Delaware State Convention, Georgetown, Delaware

    Find conventions and hamfests in your area.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    ARRL -- Your One-Stop Resource for
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    Free of charge to ARRL members...
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    --- SendMsg/2

    --- Squish/386 v1.11
    * Origin: Outpost BBS * Limestone, TN, USA (1:18/200)
  • From Sean Dennis@1:18/200 to All on Fri Feb 14 09:05:18 2020
    The ARRL Letter
    February 13, 2020

    * ARRL Board of Directors Re-Elects President Rick Roderick, K5UR
    * ARRL Board Grants Awards and Recognitions
    * ARRL Creates New HF Band Planning Discussion Group
    * ARRL Podcasts Schedule
    * New ARRL Repeater Directory Now Shipping
    * The ARRL International DX Contest (CW) Is Just Ahead
    * The K7RA Solar Update
    * Just Ahead in Radiosport
    * QRZ.com Ends Identity Verified Program
    * Foundation for Amateur Radio Invites 2020 - 2021 Scholarship
    Applications
    * In Brief
    * Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    ARRL Headquarters Will Be Closed for Presidents Day, Monday, February
    17. There will be no W1AW bulletin or code practice transmissions on
    that day. Headquarters will reopen on Tuesday, February 18, at 8 AM
    EST.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    ARRL Board of Directors Re-Elects President Rick Roderick, K5UR

    Meeting January 17 - 18 in Windsor, Connecticut, the ARRL Board of
    Directors re-elected ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, to a third
    2-year term. Roderick outpolled the only other nominee, Pacific

    ARRL President Rick
    Roderick, K5UR.

    Division Director Jim Tiemstra, K6JAT, 8 - 7. New England Division Vice
    Director Mike Raisbeck, K1TWF, was elected First Vice President,
    succeeding Greg Widin, K0GW, who did not seek another term. Raisbeck
    was the sole nominee. A successor will be appointed to fill the Vice
    Director seat that Raisbeck has vacated. Bob Vallio, W6RGG, was
    re-elected as Second Vice President as the only nominee.

    On a 9 - 6 vote, the Board voted not to re-elect Howard Michel, WB2ITX,
    as Chief Executive Officer. Michel was in the post for 15 months.
    Former ARRL Chief Financial Officer and Chief Executive Officer Barry
    Shelley, N1VXY, has come out of retirement to serve as interim ARRL
    CEO. He also was elected as Secretary. Shelley was ARRL's CFO for 28
    years and served as CEO during 2018 before his retirement, following
    the departure of former CEO Tom Gallagher, NY2RF. The ARRL Board has
    appointed a committee to spearhead the search for a new CEO. That panel
    will screen suitable CEO candidates, presenting three to the Board for
    consideration.

    In other action, former ARRL President and IARU Secretary Rod Stafford,
    W6ROD, was elected International Affairs Vice President, succeeding Jay
    Bellows, K0QB, who did not seek another term. Also re-elected by the
    Board were Treasurer Rick Niswander, K7GM, and Chief Financial Officer
    Diane Middleton, W2DLM.

    Elected as members of the Executive Committee were Atlantic Division
    Director Tom Abernethy, W3TOM; Central Division Director Kermit
    Carlson, W9XA; Roanoke Division Director Bud Hippisley, W2RU; New
    England Division Director Fred Hopengarten, K1VR, and Great Lakes
    Division Director Dale Williams, WA8EFK. The Executive Committee
    addresses and makes decisions regarding ARRL business that may arise
    between scheduled Board meetings.

    Hudson Division Director Ria Jairam, N2RJ, was elected as a member of
    the ARRL Foundation Board for a 3-year term. Tim Duffy, K3LR, and Jim
    Fenstermaker, K9JF, were elected to the Foundation Board for 3-year
    terms as non-ARRL Board members.

    Relief From Private Land-Use Restrictions

    The Hoc Legislative vocacy Committee provided the Board with
    drafts outlining three legislative approaches to address relief for
    radio amateurs facing private land-use restrictions impacting outdoor
    antennas. The Board signed off on the draft legislative approaches "as
    presented and possibly modified" and directed the committee "to proceed
    to obtain congressional sponsorship, employing any of these three
    approaches and using its best judgment on any alterations or
    modifications that our advisors or sponsors may require or suggest."

    HF Band Planning

    Outgoing chair of the HF Band Planning Committee Greg Widin, K0GW,
    presented the panel's report and entertained questions. Board members
    noted that staff turnover and funding limitations at the FCC might
    impact ARRL's efforts to tweak the bands. The Board agreed that ARRL
    would post the report and solicit comments from members on it.

    Contests and Operating Awards

    Radio Amateurs of Canada President
    Glenn MacDonell, VE3XRA (left), and
    IARU President Tim Ellam,
    VE6SH/G4HUA, conveyed greetings from
    their respective organizations.
    Seated behind them is ARRL Technical
    Relations Specialist Jon Siverling,
    WB3ERA. [Michelle Patnode, W3MVP,
    photo]

    The Board approved raising the maximum number of contacts a Field Day
    GOTA station can make to 1,000. It amended the ARRL RTTY Roundup rules
    to add Multi-Two and Multi-Multi categories and to permit multioperator
    stations to operate for the entire contest period, and it divided entry
    categories into RTTY only, Digital only (i.e., no RTTY), and Mixed
    (both RTTY and digital).

    Matt Holden, K0BBC, presented the DX visory Committee report, telling
    the Board that the panel engaged in extensive discussion on a proposal
    to change the 5-Band DXCC award from the current required band to offer
    credit for any five bands. The committee unanimously rejected the
    proposal.

    ARRL Elections

    The Board revised rules governing ARRL Division and Section Manager
    elections to clarify some terminology, to extend the campaign period
    from the call for nominations to the deadline for ballots received, and
    to make other miscellaneous changes. Revisions will become effective by
    February 15, 2020.

    The Board elected Greg
    Widin, K0GW, as an
    ARRL Honorary Vice
    President. [Rick
    Lindquist, WW1ME,
    photo]

    In the interest of "openness and fairness," the Board also approved a
    measure that would offer candidates and members an opportunity to be
    present during the counting of ballots. Candidates may also designate
    one ARRL member to attend as a surrogate if they're unable to observe
    ballot counting, or to accompany them at the count. The Board further
    approved an amendment to permit ARRL members, upon petition, to travel
    at their own expense to witness the counting of ballots from their
    Division.

    The Board charged the Programs and Services Committee to consider
    changes to the ARRL By-Laws that would give members, upon petition, the
    opportunity to attend the public portion of the Annual Meeting in
    January. The number of members permitted to attend would be subject to
    available space and fire code regulations.

    Public Service Enhancement Working Group Chair, Roanoke Division
    Director Bud Hippisley, W2RU, reported that with field adoption of the
    2019 ARES Plan now under way, the group is putting increased focus on
    the National Traffic System, including plans for dialog with
    representatives of Radio Relay International.

    Reduced Dues for Younger Applicants

    The Board
    elected Jay
    Bellows, K0QB,
    as an ARRL
    Honorary Vice
    President.

    The Board approved an amendment giving the CEO discretion to raise the
    eligibility age for reduced full ARRL membership dues from 22 to 26,
    provided the rate not be less than one-half of the established rate. In
    addition, the Board approved the establishment of a reduced-rate,
    revenue-neutral Life Membership for individuals age 70 or older, with
    cumulative annual membership of 25 years or more, at an initial rate of
    $750. Headquarters staff will work out the administrative details of
    the program, subject to approval of the ministration and Finance
    Committee.

    The Board also agreed to allow for a "digital-only" access membership,
    at the discretion of the CEO, discounted no more than 10% from the
    established dues rate.

    Other Business

    In other business, the Board:
    * Approved a grant of $500 to the Youth on the Air (YOTA) in the
    Americas program, which is sponsoring a camp in June for young
    radio amateurs. Neil Rapp, WB9VPG, a former ARRL Youth Coordinator,
    is heading the initiative, which is funded through the non-profit
    Electronic Applications Radio Service Inc.
    * Authorized creation of an Emergency Management Director Selection
    Committee, with its chair and members to be named by the president.

    The minutes of the January Annual Meeting of the ARRL Board of
    Directors are posted on the ARRL website.
    ARRL Board Grants Awards and Recognitions

    Meeting January 17 - 18, the ARRL Board of Directors bestowed several
    honors, awards, and recognitions. The Board conferred:
    * The ARRL President's Award to David H. Bernstein, AA6YQ, in
    recognition of "exemplary, outstanding, and continuing service" to
    ARRL and its members as part of the ARRL Logbook of The World team.
    Bernstein was a charter member of the ARRL Logbook Committee and a
    "founding, influential, and devoted member" of the Committee on
    Communication with ARRL Members.
    * The 2019 Bill Leonard, W2SKE, Professional Media Award for Audio
    Reporting to Roman Battaglia and the associated producer and staff
    of Jefferson Public Radio in Oregon. Battaglia produced a feature
    story on amateur radio emergency services in and around the
    Jefferson Public Radio listening area.
    * The 2019 Bill Leonard, W2SKE, Professional Media Award for Print
    Reporting to Zack Plair and the Columbus and Starkville Dispatch in
    Mississippi. Plair wrote a feature for the paper describing how
    amateur radio has proven fulfilling to various participants,
    including new and experienced radio amateurs.
    * The 2019 Bill Leonard, W2SKE, Professional Media Award for Video
    Reporting to reporter Jim Altman and affiliated producers and staff
    of Fox 61 News in Hartford, Connecticut. Altman's report, "American
    Radio Relay League Ready for Hurricane Season," focused on ARRL's
    participation in a May 2019 emergency drill conducted in
    association with the American Red Cross.

    The Board recognized and thanked the Delaware Valley Radio Association
    of New Jersey and the Clark County Amateur Radio Club of Vancouver,
    Washington, for their 90 years of assistance in fulfilling the ARRL
    mission of, "advancing the art, science, and enjoyment of amateur radio
    within their community."

    The Board bestowed the honor of Honorary Vice President on John B.
    "Jay" Bellows, K0QB, and on Greg Widin, K0GW, in recognition of their
    outstanding contributions to ARRL and amateur radio.

    ARRL Creates New HF Band Planning Discussion Group

    ARRL has created a new HF Band Planning Discussion Group. HF Band
    Planning Committee Chair Mike Raisbeck, K1TWF, will moderate the group,
    which will focus on the ARRL HF Band Planning Committee's
    recommendations and other band-planning activities. Earlier this month,
    the ARRL HF Band Planning Committee invited comments and suggestions
    from the amateur radio community on its report to the ARRL Board.

    At the Board's January meeting, the committee presented its specific
    recommendations in graphical form for each HF band and US license
    class, with the goal of increasing harmony on the HF bands,
    particularly between CW and digital users.

    Those responding to the initial call for comments and suggestions are
    encouraged to cross-post their remarks to the new HF Band Planning
    Discussion Group.
    ARRL Podcasts Schedule

    The second episode of ARRL's "On the Air" podcast is now available.
    Topics focus on building the ground-plane antenna featured in the first
    issue of On the Air magazine, a discussion of open-wire feed lines, and
    an interview with a relatively new public service volunteer. New "On
    the Air" podcast episodes are available each month.

    The inaugural episode of ARRL's new "Eclectic Tech" podcast is now
    available. The first episode includes a discussion of amateur radio
    activity on the Qatar-OSCAR 100 satellite, an interview with Assistant
    ARRL Lab Manager Bob Allison, WB1GCM, about handheld transceiver
    testing at Dayton Hamvention and other conventions, and an interview
    with Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA, about propagation conditions.

    Both podcasts are available on iTunes (iOS) and Stitcher (Android) as
    well as on Blubrry -- On the Air | Eclectic Tech.

    New ARRL Repeater Directory Now Shipping

    The 2020 ARRL Repeater Directory^(R) is now shipping. It includes
    "crowdsourced" listings contributed by users, repeater owners, and
    volunteer frequency coordinators. This means more listings that are
    updated more often. With 21,000 listings, it's the most complete
    printed directory of on-the-air repeaters, covering repeater systems
    throughout the US and Canada.

    Repeater systems are listed by state/province, city, and operating
    mode. Digital repeater systems included are System Fusion, D-Star, DMR,
    NXDN, and P25 systems. It is available in one size -- 6 * 9 inches --
    with a convenient lay-flat spiral binding. The cover includes space to
    personalize your directory, so you can make it yours.

    Pages of supplemental information include VHF/UHF and microwave band
    plans, and repeater operating practices. For decades, The ARRL Repeater
    Directory has been an invaluable source for locating repeater
    frequencies while traveling. New hams often use the Repeater Directory
    to find local activity after purchasing a new handheld radio, and
    public service volunteers keep a copy nearby or in their emergency "go
    kit."

    Order the 2020 ARRL Repeater Directory from the ARRL Store, or find an
    ARRL publication dealer. Order ARRL Item No. 1267, ISBN:
    978-1-62595-126-7, $19.95 retail. For additional questions or ordering,
    call 860-594-0355, or, toll free in the US, 888-277-5289.

    Repeater listings appearing in The ARRL Repeater Directory(R) are
    provided by RFinder Inc. If a repeater has been omitted, or if a
    listing is inaccurate, contact RFinder directly.
    The ARRL International DX Contest (CW) Is Just Ahead

    The CW weekend of the always-exciting ARRL International DX Contest
    kicks off this weekend, February 15 - 16 (UTC). This event is a huge
    opportunity for new, casual, and seasoned radiosport enthusiasts to
    enjoy the thrill of working some new DX entities.

    The terrific part is that DX stations work only US and Canada and not
    each other. So, the DX operators need your contact for points.

    You don't need a powerhouse contest station to join in the fun. It's
    possible to work DX with simple wire dipole antennas and 100 W.

    Participating in the ARRL International DX Contest is a whole lot of
    fun and can really help build your DXCC totals and QSL collections.

    Complete details are available via the ARRL Contests web page. The ARRL
    International DX Contest phone weekend is March 7 - 8 (UTC).

    The K7RA Solar Update

    Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, reports: No sunspots appeared during the
    reporting week, February 6 - 12. Average daily solar flux declined by
    more than 1 point to 71.1. Average planetary A index increased from 6.7
    to 8.3.

    Predicted solar flux for the next 45 days is 72 on February 13 - 20; 73
    on February 21 - 22; 74 on February 23 - 29; 72 on March 1 - 3; 71 on
    March 4 - 11; 72 on March 12 - 18; 73 on March 19 - 20; 74 on March 21
    - 27, and 72 on March 28.

    Predicted planetary A index is 5 on February 13 - 16; 8 on February 17
    - 20; 5 on February 21 - 24; 10 on February 25 - 26; 5 on February 27 -
    29; 8 on March 1 - 3; 5 on March 4 - 22; 10 on March 23 - 24; 5 on
    March 25 - 27, and 8 on March 28.

    Sunspot numbers for February 6 - 12 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, and 0, with
    a mean of 0. The 10.7-centimeter flux was 71.3, 70.8, 72, 70.6, 70.2,
    71.1, and 71.6, with a mean of 71.1. Estimated planetary A indices were
    15, 15, 6, 7, 5, 6, and 4, with a mean of 8.3. Middle latitude A index
    was 13, 11, 4, 5, 4, 6, and 4, with a mean of 6.7.

    A comprehensive K7RA Solar Update is posted Fridays on the ARRL
    website. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the
    ARRL Technical Information Service, read "What the Numbers Mean...,"
    and check out K9LA's Propagation Page.

    A propagation bulletin archive is available. Monthly charts offer
    propagation projections between the US and a dozen DX locations.

    Share your reports and observations.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Just Ahead in Radiosport
    * February 14 -- PODXS 070 Club Valentine Sprint (Digital)
    * February 15 -- Feld Hell Sprint
    * February 15 - 16 -- ARRL International DX Contest (CW)
    * February 15 - 16 -- Russian PSK WW Contest
    * February 15 - 16 -- AWA Amplitude Modulation QSO Party
    * February 17 -- Run for the Bacon QRP Contest (CW)
    * February 19 -- AGCW Semi-Automatic Key Evening

    See the ARRL Contest Calendar for more information. For in-depth
    reporting on amateur radio contesting, subscribe to The ARRL Contest
    Update via your ARRL member profile email preferences.

    QRZ.com Ends Identity Verified Program

    The popular QRZ.com amateur radio website has dropped its verified
    member program, which the site instituted last year in an effort to
    combat fraud and password phishers. Termination of the program was due
    to "a number of factors," the site's founder and president Fred Lloyd,
    AA7BQ, explained in a post. Lloyd said the change will "transition our
    online swapmeet rules to reflect more open policies." The site had
    offered the option of establishing two-factor authentication (2FA) for
    its registered users, which would secure a user's password on the site.
    The site introduced two-factor authentication last June, and the
    verified member program later.

    "While two-factor authentication has worked very well, the identity
    verified program hasn't worked as well as we'd hoped. There has been a
    net decrease in swapmeet traffic, primarily due to members not wishing
    to take the extra steps to get verified. The swapmeet did seem to get
    safer, but also notably quieter. The forum has lost some of the
    excitement that it used to be known for."

    Lloyd said the identity verified program was designed to provide an
    extra level of confidence to swapmeet participants, but "in practical
    terms, its validation methods were not sustainable." Not only was it an
    administrative burden, Lloyd explained, but the majority of its
    participants were only complying reluctantly. "The bottom line is that
    it's been unpopular," he said.

    Lloyd said that by dropping the identity verified requirement, QRZ
    expects to see an increase in equipment listings and greater
    participation.

    Individuals listing equipment will still need to provide photos of
    actual items for sale, and photos must include the seller's call sign.
    Only ham members -- those having a listed call sign page -- may sell in
    the swapmeet. Those perusing the listings will generally be allowed to
    post comments or questions about any listing, Lloyd said. Read more.
    Foundation for Amateur Radio Invites 2020 - 2021 Scholarship
    Applications

    The Foundation for Amateur Radio Inc. (FAR) has invited applications
    for the 2020 - 2021 academic year for the scholarships it administers.
    Applications must be submitted via the online form. Several questions
    ask for essay responses. The deadline for initial submissions is April
    30, 2020. Applicants may amend their applications until May 7.

    All applicants must hold a valid amateur radio license and be enrolled
    or accepted for enrollment at an accredited university, college, or
    technical school. Applicants attending school outside the US must
    provide a brochure describing the school. Students do not apply for
    specific scholarships; each application will be considered for all of
    the scholarships for which the applicant is qualified. Quarter Century
    Wireless Association (QCWA) scholarships and the Chichester Memorial
    Scholarship all require recommendations to be awarded.

    Data entered onto the application goes directly into an encrypted,
    password-protected PDF file available only to the review committee. No
    part of the application is stored online.

    More information is available on the FAR website, or contact Dave
    Prestel, W8AJR, telephone 443-812-4403.
    In Brief

    The FCC has invited comments on a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM)
    in WT Docket 19-138, which said the FCC would take "a fresh and
    comprehensive look" at the rules for the 5.9 GHz band. The FCC proposes
    to make 5.850 - 5.895 GHz available for unlicensed operations and to
    authorize transportation-related communication technologies to use
    5.895 - 5.925 GHz. The FCC is not proposing to delete or otherwise
    amend the 5-centimeter secondary amateur radio allocation at 5.650 -
    5.925 GHz, part of which includes the 75 megahertz under consideration.
    Comments are due by March 6, and reply comments are due by April 6.
    ARRL will be filing comments supporting no change to 5.850 - 5.925 GHz
    for amateurs, as included in the FCC proposal.

    Successful 47 GHz Amateur Radio Moonbounce Test Reported. Mitsuo Kasai,
    JA1WQF, successfully decoded a 47 GHz signal bounced off the moon on
    February 10 by Al Ward, W5LUA. More tests are planned. Ward posted news
    of the achievement on the Moon-Net email reflector. "These were one-way
    tests, with only me transmitting," he said in his post. "I started out
    by sending single tones to Mitsuo, which he copied well, and then sent
    several sequences of calls and grid. Mitsuo was able to decode calls
    and my grid at 1146 UTC and 1234 UTC. Signal levels were -23 dB and -25
    dB." Ward noted that the first EME (Earth-moon-Earth) contact on 47 GHz
    took place in early 2005. "More 47 GHz tests are being run in the next
    few days with Manfred Ploetz, DL7YC," he said. "We hope for similar
    success."

    Steve Waterman,
    K4CJX (left),
    and Phil
    Sherrod, W4PHS.
    [Photo courtesy
    of Steve
    Waterman,
    K4CJX]

    Two Winlink development team members were recently awarded the Military
    Department of Tennessee jutant General's Distinguished Patriot Medal.
    Steve Waterman, K4CJX, was awarded "for his distinguished patriotic
    service as the Winlink Network ministrator," citing his "vision, hard
    work, and dedication to emergency communication [that] contributed
    significantly to the disaster readiness and communications
    interoperability of the emergency responders across the United States
    and the world." Phil Sherrod, W4PHS, was awarded the medal "for his
    distinguished patriotic service as the lead developer for Winlink,"
    with "technical skill, hard work, and dedication to emergency
    communication [that] contributed significantly to the disaster
    readiness and communications interoperability of the emergency
    responders across the United States and the world."

    US Marines with Information Group II Marine Expeditionary Force (II
    MIG) participated in an amateur radio general licensing course. The
    course was conducted on base January 27 - 31 as part of the group's
    High Frequency Auxiliary Initiative. Members of the Brightleaf Amateur
    Radio Club of Greenville, North Carolina, helped the Marines in the
    class learn the principles of HF radio operations as a contingency
    against a peer-to-peer adversary in real-world operations. During the
    course, Marines learned ham radio theory, band allocations,
    conventional and field-expedient antenna theory, and general ham radio
    operation and control. II MIG Commanding Officer Colonel Jordan Walzer
    created the High Frequency Auxiliary Initiative after recognizing the
    need for additional options in combat environments. "Right now, our
    adversaries are aggressively pursuing counter-space weapons to target
    our satellites and ground stations," Walzer is quoted in the article.
    "If our satellites get knocked out, what do we do then? [High
    frequency] radio has been around for well over a century and is still
    used today. Why? Because it's a reliable, low-cost alternative to
    satellite communications. With the right training and education, a
    Marine with a radio and some slash wire can communicate
    over-the-horizon for long distances, even between continents."

    Initial reports indicate considerable interest among amateurs in
    tracking and capturing data from the newly deployed HuskySat-1. The
    satellite, designed at the University of Washington, was launched to
    the International Space Station last November and subsequently deployed
    into a higher orbit from the ISS on January 31, and began telemetry
    transmissions on 435.800 MHz. HuskySat-1's 1,200 bps BPSK beacon is
    active and decodable with the latest release of AMSAT's FoxTelem
    software. The HuskySat-1 CubeSat will demonstrate onboard plasma
    propulsion and high-gain telemetry for low-Earth orbit that would be a
    precursor for an attempt at a larger CubeSat designed for orbital
    insertion at the moon. HuskySat-1 is expected to carry out its primary
    mission before being turned over to AMSAT for activation of a 30 kHz
    wide V/U linear transponder for SSB and CW. -- Thanks to AMSAT News
    Service

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions
    * February 14 - 15 -- Southwest Division Convention, Yuma, Arizona
    * February 22 -- Vermont State Convention, Colchester, Vermont
    * March 7 -- Delta Division Convention, Russellville, Arkansas
    * March 13 - 14 -- North Carolina Section Convention, Concord, North
    Carolina
    * March 14 - 15 -- Great Lakes Division Convention, Perrysburg, Ohio
    * March 14 -- Nebraska State Convention, Lincoln, Nebraska
    * March 14 -- West Virginia Section Convention, Charleston, West
    Virginia
    * March 21 -- West Texas Section Convention, Midland, Texas
    * March 29 -- Virginia Section Convention, Annandale, Virginia
    * April 10 - 11 -- Oklahoma State Convention, Claremore, Oklahoma
    * April 11 -- Roanoke Division Convention, Raleigh, North Carolina
    * April 18 -- Delaware State Convention, Georgetown, Delaware

    Find conventions and hamfests in your area.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    ARRL -- Your One-Stop Resource for
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    Free of charge to ARRL members...
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    Copyright (c) 2020 American Radio Relay League, Incorporated. Use and
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    purposes require written permission.


    --- SendMsg/2

    --- Squish/386 v1.11
    * Origin: Outpost BBS * Limestone, TN, USA (1:18/200)
  • From Sean Dennis@1:18/200 to All on Fri Feb 21 09:05:02 2020
    The ARRL Letter
    February 20, 2020

    * Coronavirus Outbreak Postpones Swains Island W8S DXpedition
    * VP8PJ South Orkney DXpedition Team Arrives
    * KX9X Offers Five Tips on Satellite Operating Etiquette
    * ARRL Podcast Schedule
    * The K7RA Solar Update
    * Just Ahead in Radiosport
    * Emergency Communication Exercise Set in Northern Florida
    * Mississippi ARES^(R) Emergency Coordinator Credits Training for
    Effective Tornado Response
    * Yasme Foundation Announces Grants and Excellence Awards
    * New World Distance Record Claimed on 122 GHz
    * FAA's Proposed Remote Identification Rules Would Affect Drones,
    Hobby Planes
    * In Brief...
    * Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions
    Coronavirus Outbreak Postpones Swains Island W8S DXpedition

    The W8S DXpedition to Swains Island in the Pacific, set to take place
    in mid-March, has been postponed until September as a result of travel
    restrictions imposed on individuals entering American Samoa, stemming
    from the recent coronavirus outbreak. The Department of Health allows
    non-residents to enter American Samoa only via Hawaii after a 14-day
    mandatory quarantine, and the DXpedition was unable to accommodate that
    requirement.

    "Everything is prepared for our DXpedition, and we are eager to go, but
    unfortunately the coronavirus outbreak is out of our control," the
    DXpedition team said in announcing the delay. "Although this is a
    disappointment for everyone, the W8S DXpedition is not cancelled, just
    postponed for later this year."

    The DXpedition said it would alert the DX community as soon as it has
    new firm dates for the trip.
    VP8PJ South Orkney DXpedition Team Arrives

    The VP8PJ South Orkney DXpedition team, on board the Braveheart,
    reached Signy Island in the South Orkneys just after 1000 UTC on
    February 20. Team members are now preparing to land Zodiacs and
    transfer equipment.

    "We have ice to contend with regarding our planned landing area," the
    DXpedition reported. "The ice was pushed in during the previous days,
    but we are expecting the winds to change and blow the ice out. We are
    currently looking for an alternate site to unload, then move the
    equipment to the planned site. An alternative camp/operations area is
    being considered as we evaluate current conditions."

    The Perseverance DX Group-sponsored DXpedition was set to commence
    operation on February 20 (UTC), but it appears that could be delayed.
    Team members operated as ZL1NA/mm during their voyage, generating heavy
    pileups, and they expect to continue doing so once they get set up as
    VP8PJ.

    Operation on CW, SSB, RTTY, and FT8 (always fox/hound mode except on 60
    meters) will continue until March 5 (UTC). Stations in Africa and
    Oceania may call at any time, regardless of operators' directional
    instructions.

    The VP8PJ DXpedition is the recipient of an ARRL Colvin Award grant,
    funded by an endowment established by Lloyd D. Colvin, W6KG (SK).
    Heading the 14-member DXpedition team are Dave Lloyd, K3EL, and Les
    Kalmus, W2LK.

    South Orkney Islands is the 16th most-wanted DXCC entity, according to
    Club Log.

    The DXpedition advises that DXers wait until propagation and conditions
    favor their location. VP8PJ will always operate split, and operators
    will indicate where they are listening.

    QSL via OQRS for direct or bureau, or direct via QSL Manager Tim
    Beaumont, M0URX; log search will also be available. Read more. --Thanks
    to The Daily DX for some information

    KX9X Offers Five Tips on Satellite Operating Etiquette

    Former ARRL Contest Branch Manager and Media and Public Relations
    Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X, shared "Five Tips on Etiquette and Good
    Manners on the FM Ham Radio Satellites" on the DX Engineering blog, On
    All Bands. Kutzko said the transient nature of satellite availability
    can lead to "a natural sense of urgency" among operators trying to
    operate through it.

    "Satellite operating comes with several challenges, not the least of
    which is that it is one of the ultimate shared resources in the hobby,"
    Kutzko wrote. "While there are now several satellites to choose from, a

    Sean Kutzko, KX9X.

    given satellite is only above the horizon for a maximum of 15 minutes
    or so. Lots of people trying to access a satellite during a short
    window of opportunity can create problems, and that can bring out some
    undesirable behavior."

    In terms of operating etiquette for satellites, Kutzko advised that the
    "big one," is "Don't transmit if you can't hear the satellite first."
    He notes that whistling or saying such things as "hello" and "check
    one-two" are bad form.

    "If you don't hear other activity, you're probably not going to hear
    yourself, either," Kutzko explained. "Blindly calling or whistling may
    cause unintentional interference to other stations that can properly
    hear the satellite."

    Next on the list is to wait your turn. "Given the rapid nature of
    satellite contacts, you shouldn't have to wait very long for your
    chance during a pass," Kutzko wrote.

    Kutzko also advised to always use phonetics when operating on the FM
    satellites. "Phonetics help ensure your call [sign] is copied correctly
    the first time and can save a lot of precious moments during a short
    pass," he said.

    Also, avoid making repeat contacts with a station you've worked
    previously and resist the temptation to greet an old friend. "[E]ach
    contact you make with a person you've already had several contacts with
    prevents another person from making a contact," Kutzko pointed out.

    Finally, he said, "It may be best to let the rare station have the pass
    and try to work as many stations as they can. In some cases, the rare
    station may only be audible for a portion of the pass you're on, with
    the station moving out of the satellite's footprint before it moves out
    of range for you," Kutzko recommended.

    "Satellite activity is at an all-time high, with new sats being
    launched on a regular basis and more operators discovering how much fun
    there is to be had," he concluded. "By being mindful of others trying
    to make contacts and thinking of others on the pass, we can all
    contribute to a better satellite environment for everyone."

    Kutzko won the June 2018 QST Cover Plaque Award for his article, "Get
    on the Satellites for ARRL Field Day." He steered satellite newcomers
    to his earlier blog posts to help them get started.
    ARRL Podcast Schedule

    ARRL's "On the Air" podcast's second episode (February 13) focuses on
    building the ground plane antenna featured in the first issue of On the
    Air magazine, a discussion of open-wire feed lines, and an interview
    with a relatively new public service volunteer. New "On the Air"
    podcast episodes are available monthly.

    The first episode of the "Eclectic Tech" podcast (February 13) includes
    a discussion of amateur radio activity on the Qatar-OSCAR 100
    satellite, an interview with Assistant ARRL Lab Manager Bob Allison,
    WB1GCM, about handheld transceiver testing at Dayton Hamvention and
    other conventions, and an interview with Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA,
    about propagation conditions. New episodes will be available biweekly.

    Both podcasts are available on iTunes (iOS) and Stitcher (Android) as
    well as on Blubrry -- On the Air | Eclectic Tech.

    The K7RA Solar Update

    Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, reports: The most recent sunspot appearance
    was on February 1, nearly 3 weeks ago.

    The average daily solar flux over the past week declined just barely,
    from 71.1 to 70.9. The average daily planetary A index changed from 8.3
    to 7, and mid-latitude A index went from 6.7 to 5.1. Solar activity
    remains very low.

    Solar flux is projected to remain very low -- 70 on February 20 - 27,
    and 71 on February 28 - April 4.

    The predicted planetary A index is 18, 10, and 8 on February 20 - 22; 5
    on February 23 - 25; 8 and 12 on February 26 - 27; 5 on February 28 -
    March 3; 20, 15, and 8 on March 4 - 6; 5 on March 7 - 14; 10, 8, 10, 8,
    and 5 on March 15 - 19; 10, 8, 5, 8, 12, and 10 on March 20 - 25; 5 on
    March 26 - 30; 20 on March 31, and 15, 8, 5, and 5 on April 1 - 4.

    Sunspot numbers for February 13 - 19 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, and 0, with
    a mean of 0. The 10.7-centimeter flux was 71.2, 71.3, 70.6, 70.5, 70.7,
    71, and 71, with a mean of 70.9. Estimated planetary A indices were 3,
    3, 5, 3, 7, 14, and 14, with a mean of 7. The middle latitude A index
    was 1, 3, 4, 2, 5, 11, and 10, with a mean of 5.1.

    A comprehensive K7RA Solar Update is posted Fridays on the ARRL
    website. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the
    ARRL Technical Information Service, read "What the Numbers Mean...,"
    and check out K9LA's Propagation Page.

    A propagation bulletin archive is available. Monthly charts offer
    propagation projections between the US and a dozen DX locations.

    Share your reports and observations.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Just Ahead in Radiosport
    * February 21 - 23 -- CQ 160-Meter Contest, SSB
    * February 22 - 23 -- REF Contest, SSB
    * February 22 - 23 -- UK/EI DX Contest (CW)
    * February 23 -- SARL Digital Contest
    * February 23 -- High Speed Club CW Contest
    * February 24 - 25 -- QCX Challenge (CW)
    * February 26 -- SKCC Sprint (CW)
    * February 26 -- UKEICC 80-Meter Contest (CW)
    * February 27 -- RSGB 80-Meter Club Championship (CW)

    See the ARRL Contest Calendar for more information. For in-depth
    reporting on amateur radio contesting, subscribe to The ARRL Contest
    Update via your ARRL member profile email preferences.

    Emergency Communication Exercise Set in Northern Florida

    On Sunday, March 1, dozens of amateur radio volunteers from several
    states will take part in a 3-hour exercise in the northern Florida city
    of Gainesville. The exercise is designed to test and evaluate skills,
    assets, and strategies for emergency communication, such as those that
    might be needed in the aftermath of a hurricane. The exercise is being
    organized by the North Florida Amateur Radio Club (NFARC) and the
    Gainesville Amateur Radio Society (GARS), as part of the third annual
    Amateur Radio Communications Conference, held on Saturday and Sunday,
    February 29 - March 1.

    This year's "Hot and Cold" exercise scenario is based on hypothetical
    high-pressure natural gas pipeline ruptures and subsequent fires, as
    well as a loss of electrical power during an extreme cold-weather
    event. The sudden widespread event then caused telecommunications
    failures in undersea cables to develop, with widespread communication
    systems overloading and failing.

    Exercise planners used the revised and just-released Homeland Security
    Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) in planning the event. The
    update incorporates feedback and input from exercise planners and
    practitioners across the country and ensures that HSEEP doctrine, the
    training course, and corresponding documents continue to best meet the
    needs of communities.

    Collaborating Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Conference
    lecturers have created a more than 200-page manual for the multi-track
    training sessions on Saturday. Participants will get to put what they
    learned into practice the next day, as they fan out to seven assigned
    simulated shelter locations and the Alachua County Emergency Operations
    Center. The club says Alachua County Emergency Manager Hal Grieb is
    supporting the volunteer-driven Homeland Security exercise and
    evaluation program-based effort, and he and his staff will serve as
    evaluators. Former FEMA ministrator Craig Fugate, KK4INZ, also plans
    to be on hand.

    For the past 3 years, NFARC has published the conference proceedings,
    and last year, it also published the written report of its exercise.
    Last year's exercise scenario focused on a new respiratory virus that
    had crippled the nation.

    With the release of the updated 2020 HSEEP document, FEMA will be
    hosting webinars to provide information, highlights, and changes as a
    result of the review process. Webinars will continue until mid-May.
    Visit the HSEEP webpage for additional dates and times. -- Thanks to
    Dr. Gordon Gibby, KX4Z; The ARES E-Letter
    Mississippi ARES^(R) Emergency Coordinator Credits Training for
    Effective Tornado Response

    Amateur Radio Emergency Service^(R) (ARES^(R)) volunteers in DeSoto
    County, Mississippi, devoted a January weekend to assisting local
    emergency managers in responding to tornado damage in the region.
    Desoto County Emergency Coordinator Ricky Chambers, KF5WVJ; Assistant
    EC Gene ams, KF5KVL; Tate County EC Brad Kerley, KG5TTU, and Andy
    Luscomb, AG5FG, reported at 3 AM on January 11 to the DeSoto County
    Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to open a SKYWARN weather watch.
    After a tornado warning was issued for DeSoto County, Chambers
    activated an emergency net on a local repeater. Ten minutes into the
    net, however, the repeater went down, and the net switched to simplex.
    The net subsequently moved to another operational repeater.

    Initial reports of downed trees blocking roadways and an eyewitness
    report of a possible tornado southwest of Hernando came in just after 5
    AM. The ARES team at the EOC began taking damage reports, answering the
    telephone, and monitoring and taking calls from public safety
    dispatchers. When the deputy EMA director requested traffic control in
    Lewisburg, three of the ARES volunteers accompanied EMA director Chris
    Olson to Lewisburg. Chambers and Kerley assumed traffic control, and
    Olson asked that Chambers put out a call for ARES/RACES volunteers and
    EMA reservists to report to the EOC. The ham radio volunteers also
    handled welfare checks.

    A dozen ARES/RACES and EMA reservists returned the next day to conduct
    door-to-door damage assessment. For the next 10 days, Chambers
    reported, the DeSoto County volunteers assisted in handling telephone
    traffic in the EOC, freeing up first responders to do their primary
    jobs.

    "I attribute our effective response to the training we have conducted
    on a monthly basis," Chambers said, noting that training included
    recommended ARRL courses. "We were able to see how the Incident Command
    System worked on a first-hand basis as the incident unfolded, based on
    the ICS training courses we have taken. My group went from 0 to 110 MPH
    in seconds, never missing a beat [and] everyone performed on a
    professional level." -- Thanks to DeSoto County and EMA Reservist
    Coordinator EC Ricky Chambers, KF5WVJ

    Yasme Foundation Announces Grants and Excellence Awards

    The Yasme Foundation Board of Directors announced several grants when
    it met in Orlando, Florida, on February 9. Financial support will go
    to:

    * The SU8WRC/SU8X demonstration station at World Radiocommunication
    Conference 2020 in Egypt.
    * The Youth on the Air and HamSCI exhibits at Dayton Hamvention 2020.
    * Contest University at Dayton Hamvention 2020, for audio/visual
    equipment, student materials, and live internet streaming.
    * The Croatian Amateur Radio Association (HRS) to support the
    Youngsters on the Air (YOTA) 2020 Region 1 annual summer camp.

    The Board also announced the individual and group recipients of the
    Yasme Excellence Award, which recognizes significant contributions to
    amateur radio through their service, creativity, effort, and
    dedication. The award may recognize technical, operating, or
    organizational achievement. The Yasme Excellence Award is in the form
    of a cash grant and an individually engraved crystal globe.

    The latest recipients of the Yasme Excellence Award are James Sarté,
    K2QI, and rian Ciuperca, KO8SCA, for their efforts in combining the
    latest state-of-the-art technology, diplomatic skills, persistence, and
    leadership in reactivating United Nations Headquarters club station
    4U1UN. ditional help with gathering equipment and logistical support
    was provided by RA9USU, NT2Y, NT2X, K2LE, and N2UN (SK).

    The Yasme Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation organized to
    support scientific and educational projects related to amateur radio,
    including DXing and the introduction and promotion of amateur radio in
    developing countries.
    New World Distance Record Claimed on 122 GHz

    A new world distance record of 139 kilometers (86.2 miles) is being
    claimed by radio amateurs in northern California. This tops the record

    Mike Lavelle, K6ML.

    of 114 kilometers set in 2005 by WA1ZMS and W4WWQ, according to the
    Distance Records on the ARRL website.

    The February 17, 2020, contact was between Mike Lavelle, K6ML, on Mount
    Vaca (CM88WJ75ON) at 835 meters (2,739.5 feet) above sea level, and
    Oliver Barrett, KB6BA (at 1225 UTC), and Jim Moss, N9JIM (at 1250 UTC),
    who were both on Mount Umunhum (CM97BD18VJ) at 1,016 meters (3333.3
    feet) above sea level.

    Lavelle reports the dew point was -11 °C, the air temperature was 15
    °C, the path loss was about 225 dB, and atmospheric loss was
    approximately 0.35 dB/kilometer.

    "CW was used, 122 GHz signals were very weak (7 dB above the noise in
    22 Hz; -13 in 2500 Hz equivalent) with [fading] down to the noise
    floor," Lavelle told ARRL. "Dishes were aligned on 24 GHz (71 dB above
    the noise) prior to [moving] to 122 GHz; we heard signals right away on
    122 GHz." The stations employed 60-centimeter satellite TV dishes and
    ran "somewhat less than half a milliwatt" on 122 GHz, Lavelle said.
    FAA's Proposed Remote Identification Rules Would Affect Drones, Hobby
    Planes

    The Federal Aviation ministration (FAA) is proposing to require
    remote identification of so-called "unmanned aircraft systems" (UAS),
    which include drones and hobby aircraft. A growing number of radio
    amateurs utilize camera-equipped drones for aerial photography
    purposes, to examine antenna systems, and to operate hobby aircraft
    remotely on amateur radio frequencies. Comments on the Notice of
    Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) in Docket FAA-2019-11, are due by March 2.

    "The remote identification of unmanned aircraft systems in the airspace
    of the United States would address safety, national security, and law
    enforcement concerns regarding the further integration of these
    aircraft into the airspace of the United States while also enabling
    greater operational capabilities," the FAA said in proposing the new
    requirements.

    The FAA defines remote identification, or Remote ID, as the ability of
    an in-flight unmanned aircraft "to provide certain identification and
    location information that people on the ground and other airspace users
    can receive." The FAA called the move "an important building block in
    the unmanned traffic management ecosystem."

    "For example, the ability to identify and locate UAS operating in the
    airspace of the United States provides additional situational awareness
    to manned and unmanned aircraft," the FAA said. "This will become even
    more important as the number of UAS operations in all classes of
    airspace increases. In addition, the ability to identify and locate UAS
    provides critical information to law enforcement and other officials
    charged with ensuring public safety."

    The FAA said it envisions that the remote identification network "will
    form the foundation for the development of other technologies that can
    enable expanded operations."

    With few exceptions, all UAS operating in US airspace would be subject
    to the rule's requirements and would have to comply, "regardless of
    whether they conduct recreational or commercial operations, except
    those flying UAS that are not otherwise required to be registered under
    the FAA's existing rules."

    To comment, click on the "Submit a Formal Comment" button on the top of
    the Federal Register page that includes the NPRM text.
    In Brief...

    A Down Under special event will use former Radio Australia
    international broadcast antennas. Over the March 14 - 15 weekend,
    members of the Shepparton and District Amateur Radio Club (SADARC) in
    Australia will be on the air as VI3RA (Radio Australia), connecting
    their transceivers to the curtain array and rhombic antennas at the
    former Radio Australia site in Shepparton. Radio Australia ceased
    transmitting from the site in 2017. VI3RA will operate on 40, 30, 20,
    17, and 15 meters. "Local amateurs will be given the unique opportunity
    to explore the use of high-gain antennas whilst giving amateurs
    throughout the world a unique opportunity to contact a station using
    such high-gain antennas," said SADARC President Peter Rentsch, VK3FPSR
    (Australia's call sign structure accommodates four-letter suffixes).
    "This is a rare opportunity for amateur radio operators, who are only
    allowed a peak output power of 400 W in Australia when compared to 100
    kW of Radio Australia transmitters to hopefully achieve some remarkable
    communication outcomes. We expect to get a gain of 15 dB on the lower
    frequencies and at least 20 dB on 21 MHz." The special event is being
    conducted in cooperation with BAI Communications (Broadcast Australia).
    More information is on the club's website.

    AMSAT reports that the pioneering AMSAT-OSCAR 85 (AO-85) CubeSat, also
    known as Fox-1A, has gone silent. "Having not been heard throughout the
    most recent period of full illumination, it is reasonable to believe
    the batteries have deteriorated to the point of no longer being able to
    power the transmitter," AMSAT said this week. "Should some future event
    cause a cell to open, it is possible the satellite may be heard again,
    but for now, it is time to declare end-of-mission. AO-85 was conceived
    as the first AMSAT CubeSat and designed to be a successor to the
    popular AO-51 Microsat. AO-85 was launched on October 8, 2015. Its
    success led to further Fox satellites AO-91, AO-92, AO-95, and
    RadFxSat2/Fox-1E, which will be launched later this year. The Fox-1E
    transponder was also spun off into a radio system now in orbit on board
    HuskySat-1, and soon to be in several other university CubeSats. --
    Thanks to AMSAT News Service

    France has authorized use of 60-meter band. Telecommunications
    regulator ARCEP has authorized the use of a 60-meter band -- as agreed
    upon at World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 -- for French radio
    amateurs. The formal announcement was published in the Official Journal
    of the Republic of France (JORF) on February 13, IARU member-society
    REF (Réseau des Émetteurs Français) has reported. The 5351.5 - 5.366.6
    MHz band will be available at a maximum EIRP of 15 W.

    ARISS radio telebridge stalwart Gerald Klatzko, ZS6BTD, has died. When
    the International Space Station (ISS) orbit is not favorable for a
    direct Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact
    with a particular school or location scheduled to speak with an
    astronaut, ARISS radio telebridge stations bridge the gap. Gerald
    Klatzko, ZS6BTD, of Parklands, South Africa, was one of the "regulars"
    during the earlier years of the ARISS program. He died on February 1 at
    age 95. Klatzko served as an ARISS radio telebridge station in South
    Africa for many years until he retired. ARISS telebridge stations
    establish the direct ham radio link and feed two-way audio into a
    telebridge line for delivery to the contact site. John Sygo, ZS6JON,
    described Klatzko as "always bright and cheerful and a great operator,"
    who made major contributions to the amateur service. "He was one of the
    first to experiment with slow-scan television," Sygo said. "For many
    years, he assisted NASA to link astronauts with their families using
    amateur radio links from Mir, the Space Shuttle, and the International
    Space Station. For over 2 decades, he was the co-producer and presenter
    of Amateur Radio Mirror International."

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions
    * March 7 - Delta Division Convention, Russellville, Arkansas
    * March 13 - 14 -- North Carolina Section Convention, Concord, North
    Carolina
    * March 14 - 15 -- Great Lakes Division Convention, Perrysburg, Ohio
    * March 14 -- Nebraska State Convention, Lincoln, Nebraska
    * March 14 -- West Virginia Section Convention, Charleston, West
    Virginia
    * March 21 -- West Texas Section Convention, Midland, Texas
    * March 29 -- Virginia Section Convention, Vienna, Virginia
    * April 10 - 11 -- Oklahoma State Convention, Claremore, Oklahoma
    * April 11 -- Roanoke Division Convention, Raleigh, North Carolina
    * April 18 -- Delaware State Convention, Georgetown, Delaware
    * May 8 - 9 -- Utah State Convention, Orem, Utah
    * June 6 - 7 -- Northwestern Division Convention, Seaside, Oregon
    * June 6 - 7 -- West Pennsylvania Section Convention, Prospect,
    Pennsylvania
    * June 6 -- Georgia State Convention, Marietta, Georgia
    * June 20 -- Tennessee State Convention, Knoxville, Tennessee

    Find conventions and hamfests in your area.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    ARRL -- Your One-Stop Resource for
    Amateur Radio News and Information.

    .

    .
    * Join or Renew Today! ARRL membership includes QST, amateur radio's
    most popular and informative journal, delivered to your mailbox
    each month.
    * Listen to ARRL Audio News, available every Friday.

    Subscribe to...
    * NCJ -- National Contest Journal. Published bimonthly, features
    articles by top contesters, letters, hints, statistics, scores, NA
    Sprint, and QSO parties.
    * QEX -- A Forum for Communications Experimenters. Published
    bimonthly, features technical articles, construction projects,
    columns, and other items of interest to radio amateurs and
    communications professionals.

    Free of charge to ARRL members...
    * Subscribe to the ARES E-Letter (monthly public service and
    emergency communications news), the ARRL Contest Update (biweekly
    contest newsletter), Division and Section news alerts -- and much
    more!
    * Find ARRL on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter and Instagram!
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    The ARRL Letter is published Thursdays, 50 times each year. ARRL members
    and registered guests may subscribe at no cost or unsubscribe by editing
    their profile.

    Copyright (c) 2020 American Radio Relay League, Incorporated. Use and
    distribution of this publication, or any portion thereof, is permitted for
    non-commercial or educational purposes, with attribution. All other
    purposes require written permission.


    --- SendMsg/2

    --- Squish/386 v1.11
    * Origin: Outpost BBS * Limestone, TN, USA (1:18/200)
  • From Sean Dennis@1:18/200 to All on Fri Feb 28 09:05:18 2020
    The ARRL Letter
    February 27, 2020

    * ARRL Seeks a New Chief Executive Officer
    * ARRL Comments in Opposition to FCC Plan to Delete the 3.4 GHz Band
    * AMSAT Cites Need for equate Spectrum in Opposing Deletion of 3.4
    GHz Band
    * ARRL Podcasts Schedule
    * ARRL Announces Interruptions to Online Services
    * FCC Turns Down Amateur Licensee's Appeal
    * The K7RA Solar Update
    * Just Ahead in Radiosport
    * Auxiliary Communications Training to Be Held in Conjunction with
    Dayton Hamvention^(R)
    * It's Never Too Late to Upgrade
    * In Brief...
    * Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions

    ARRL Seeks a New Chief Executive Officer

    ARRL is seeking an experienced radio amateur to be Chief Executive
    Officer (CEO) at its headquarters in Newington, Connecticut. The CEO is
    the top compensated employee in ARRL's management structure and
    oversees all operations in collaboration with the President and the
    Board of Directors, in accordance with ARRL's Articles of Association,
    Bylaws, and Board policies. The successful candidate will ensure
    day-to-day management of ARRL, including fiscal operations and will
    oversee and make certain that its fund-raising, marketing, human
    resources, technology, advocacy, and governance strategies are
    effectively implemented.

    Essential CEO Functions Include:
    * Leading the headquarters staff and field volunteers, in response to
    Board policy, in the development and implementation of effective
    programs for the promotion and growth of amateur radio and the
    provision of services to members.
    * Planning, developing, organizing, implementing, directing, and
    evaluating ARRL's operational and fiscal performance.
    * Providing leadership, directing headquarters staff, and maintaining
    performance standards in headquarters operations.
    * Participating, in collaboration with officers, Directors, and
    staff, in developing ARRL's plans and programs.

    The successful candidate will be a strategic thinker with a record of
    significant amateur radio experience and a broad understanding of its
    operational, technical, regulatory, and social facets. The CEO will be
    responsible for effective financial and operational management and
    oversight.

    CEO candidates should possess a bachelor's degree or equivalent
    (master's degree preferred), be an active radio amateur who has
    initiated or led a significant amateur radio activity within the past
    10 years, and have 10 years of management and supervisory experience.
    Candidates should be able to demonstrate ability in providing effective
    leadership and management of business operations.

    The position is located at ARRL Headquarters, and the successful
    candidate will be required to establish a residence in the Hartford,
    Connecticut, area.

    For More Information

    The CEO Position Announcement includes details. Interested candidates
    should submit a cover letter and resume via e-mail to ARRL Human
    Resources Assistant Monique Levesque.
    ARRL Comments in Opposition to FCC Plan to Delete the 3.4 GHz Band

    ARRL has filed comments opposing an FCC proposal to delete the 3.3 -
    3.5 GHz secondary amateur allocation. The comments, filed on February
    21, are in response to an FCC Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in
    WT Docket 19-348 in which the FCC put forward a plan to remove
    "existing non-federal secondary radiolocation and amateur allocations"
    in the 3.3 - 3.55 GHz band and relocate incumbent non-federal
    operations. The FCC's proposal was in response to the MOBILE NOW
    [Making Opportunities for Broadband Investment and Limiting Excessive
    and Needless Obstacles to Wireless] Act, enacted in 2018 to make new
    spectrum available for mobile and fixed wireless broadband use. ARRL
    noted that amateur radio has a long history of successful coexistence
    with primary users of the band.

    "There is no reason suggested by the Commission, or known to us, why
    the secondary status for amateur radio operations should not be
    continued for the indefinite future," ARRL said in its comments. "We
    understand that secondary commercial users are less flexible than
    amateur radio users and may desire to relocate to protect continued
    provision of services and service quality. Radio amateurs, by contrast,
    benefit from having technical knowledge and no customer demands for
    continuous service quality, more flexibility to make adjustments, and
    often have the technical abilities necessary to design and implement
    the means to coexist compatibly with the signals of primary users."

    ARRL pointed to amateur radio's "decades-long experience observing and
    experimenting with radiowave propagation" in the 3.3 - 3.5 GHz band
    that includes mesh networks, amateur television networks, weak signal
    long-distance communication, Earth-Moon-Earth (moonbounce)
    communication, beacons used for propagation study, and amateur
    satellite communications. In its comments, ARRL argued that it would be
    "premature" to remove the current secondary amateur radio allocation.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Radio amateurs have established extensive infrastructure for the
    current band and are engaged in construction and experimentation that
    includes innovative "mesh networks" and amateur television networks
    that can be deployed to support public service activities.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    "This spectrum should not be removed from the amateur radio secondary
    allocation and left unused," ARRL told the FCC. "Only at a later time
    may an informed assessment of sharing opportunities be made in the
    specific spectrum slated for re-allocation.... This depends upon the
    Congressionally mandated NTIA studies of sharing or relocation options
    that have yet to be completed and, if all or part of this spectrum is
    re-allocated, the nature and location of buildout by the non-federal
    users." The National Telecommunications and Information ministration
    (NTIA) oversees spectrum allocated to federal government users. ARRL
    noted that radio amateurs have established extensive infrastructure for
    the current band and are engaged in construction and experimentation
    that includes innovative "mesh networks" and amateur television
    networks that can be deployed to support public service activities.

    With the NTIA report addressing the 3.1 - 3.55 GHz spectrum not
    expected until late March, ARRL said, "we do not yet know how much
    spectrum below and above the amateur secondary allocation may be
    reallocated to non-federal users and what opportunities may exist or be
    developed to share [that] spectrum" with new primary users and systems.

    "Even if suitable new spectrum could be found for the existing amateur
    uses -- which is difficult before the spectrum musical chairs activity
    is concluded -- the costs to radio amateurs would be significant and be
    borne with no countervailing public benefit," ARRL told the FCC.

    "If the advent of new primary licensees forecloses some types of
    secondary operations, the amateur community will reevaluate the
    situation when some certainty exists," ARRL concluded.

    AMSAT Cites Need for equate Spectrum in Opposing Deletion of 3.4 GHz
    Band

    AMSAT has commented on the FCC Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in
    WT Docket 19-348 that proposes to delete the 3.3 - 3.5 GHz (9
    centimeter) amateur band and relocate incumbent non-federal operations.
    The band includes the 3.40 - 3.41 GHz Amateur Satellite Service
    allocation. In its remarks, AMSAT said it opposes deletion of the
    allocation and stressed the necessity of having adequate microwave
    spectrum available for future amateur satellite projects, including
    AMSAT's GOLF program and the Lunar Gateway. AMSAT acknowledged that the
    3.4 GHz Amateur Satellite Service allocation is not currently used by
    any amateur satellites and that it is unsuitable for worldwide
    communication because it is not available in ITU Region 1. AMSAT said a
    number of potential future uses for the band remain, however, as
    worldwide usage of other available allocations increases.

    "These potential uses include a future amateur satellite in
    geostationary orbit above the Americas," AMSAT said, explaining that
    the segment could support uplink or downlink frequencies for such a
    spacecraft without potential interference to worldwide activities
    involving space stations in high-Earth or lunar orbit. The
    most-desirable allocations for use as uplinks are between 2.4 GHz and
    5.67 GHz -- 80 MHz in all, AMSAT told the FCC. "As many of the proposed
    uses include amateur television and high-speed data transmission with
    satellites in high-Earth orbit or lunar orbit, these allocations may
    quickly become inadequate," AMSAT said.

    AMSAT told the FCC the 3.40 - 3.41 GHz allocation could be utilized as
    a command channel or secondary data downlink for AMSAT ground stations
    in ITU Region 2 without interfering with the primary communications on
    the other allocations or other satellites utilizing those segments.

    AMSAT said several non-amateur satellites use the broader 3.3 - 3.5 GHz
    amateur allocation, which also sees wide use for amateur radio mesh
    networking, EME communications, and contesting.

    "The Amateur Satellite Service continues to provide immense value to
    the growing field of small satellites," AMSAT concluded. "Experiments
    conducted by amateur satellites...continue to inform the development of
    the commercial small satellite industry. ditionally, student
    participation in amateur satellite projects provides both inspiration
    for young men and women to pursue careers in the commercial satellite
    industry and practical experience for those careers.

    "A strong and robust Amateur Satellite Service will continue to benefit
    the public interest and inspire future developments in satellite
    technology," AMSAT said. "Continued progress in achieving these goals
    requires adequate spectrum, especially in suitable microwave bands." --
    Thanks to AMSAT News Service via AMSAT Executive Vice President Paul
    Stoetzer, N8HM
    ARRL Podcasts Schedule

    The February 13 episode of the On the Air podcast focuses on building
    the hands-free soldering tool from the article, "Extend Your Handheld's
    Range with a Simple Ground-Plane Antenna," seen in the January/February
    2020 issue of On the Air magazine; a discussion of open-wire feed
    lines, and an interview with a public service volunteer. New On the Air
    podcast episodes are available monthly.

    The new episode of Eclectic Tech podcast goes live February 27. Episode
    2 touches on these topics: Most expensive home PC ever; Alexa and
    amateur radio; solar activity's influence on whales, and a HamSCI
    update from Ward Silver, N0AX.

    Both podcasts are available on iTunes (iOS) and Stitcher (Android) as
    well as on Blubrry -- On the Air | Eclectic Tech.

    ARRL Announces Interruptions to Online Services

    The ARRL website and other online services will be offline on Friday,
    February 28, for up to 8 hours in order to conduct necessary
    maintenance. The outage will begin at 0500 UTC and should end by 1300
    UTC. It will affect the main ARRL website, the ARRL Store, and the ARRL
    contesting-related pages, including the log submission page. Logbook of
    The World (LoTW), email, and all ARRL Headquarters systems will not be
    affected.

    As part of ARRL Headquarters' transition to new internet service
    providers, an interruption of internet access at ARRL Headquarters is
    set for Wednesday, March 4, starting at 2300 UTC. The interruption will
    last no longer than 4 hours. During the work period, these services
    will be unavailable: Logbook of The World (LoTW), Online DXCC,
    International Grid Chase Archive, National Parks on the Air Archive,
    Centennial QSO Party Archive, W1AW Echolink Conference Server, and VPN
    access to Headquarters. Email to Headquarters will remain online, and

    --- SendMsg/2

    --- Squish/386 v1.11
    * Origin: Outpost BBS * Limestone, TN, USA (1:18/200)
  • From Sean Dennis@1:18/200 to All on Fri Mar 6 09:05:18 2020
    The ARRL Letter
    March 4, 2020

    * ARRL Foundation Announces ARDC Scholarship Matching Grant
    * Dayton Hamvention Officials Keeping an Eye on Coronavirus Situation
    * Henry Radio Los Angeles Founder Ted Henry, W6UOU, is 100!
    * ARRL Podcasts Schedule
    * Dayton Hamvention Names 2020 Award Winners
    * International Space Station Resupply Mission to Carry New ARISS Ham
    Radio Gear
    * The K7RA Solar Update
    * Just Ahead in Radiosport
    * IARU Region 2 Seeks Young Hams to Help Reshape Amateur Radio
    * Motorola Wins Multimillion Dollar Theft of Trade Secrets Case
    Against Hytera
    * In Brief...
    * Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions
    ARRL Foundation Announces ARDC Scholarship Matching Grant

    ARRL Foundation President Dr. David Woolweaver, K5RAV, announced this
    week that the nonprofit Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC) has
    generously agreed to award the ARRL Foundation a grant to match the
    Foundation's 2020-2021 scholarships on a dollar-for-dollar basis, up to
    a total of $200,000.

    "The ARRL Foundation Board is honored to partner with ARDC to award
    ARDC's Amateur Radio Digital Communications' Brian H. Kantor, WB6CYT,
    Memorial Scholarship grant for 2020," Woolweaver said. "These
    scholarships, made possible by ARDC's generous contribution, will
    assist many young amateur radio operators in their pursuit of education
    at colleges, universities, and graduate schools."

    Last July, ARDC announced it would use the proceeds from its sale of
    some 4 million unused consecutive AMPRNet internet addresses to fund
    its operations and to establish a program of grants and scholarships to
    support communications and networking research -- with a strong
    emphasis on amateur radio. ARDC has said that it intends to award "a
    total of several million dollars in grants of varied amounts" to
    qualified beneficiaries, to be used in accordance with ARDC's mission.

    ARDC awarded grants in 2019 and so far in 2020 to several amateur
    radio-related entities, including a generous award to the Amateur Radio
    on the International Space Station (ARISS), the Foundation for Amateur
    Radio scholarship program, the GNU Radio Project, TAPR, and the YASME
    Foundation.

    The ARRL Foundation and ARDC are negotiating the terms for ARDC's 2021
    - 2022 academic year scholarship awards, which will consist of
    scholarships separate from those the ARRL Foundation already
    administers.

    The winners of the ARRL and matching ARDC scholarship awards for the
    upcoming school year will be announced in the September issue of QST.
    Dayton Hamvention Officials Keeping an Eye on Coronavirus Situation

    With Dayton Hamvention^(R) 2020 a little more than 10 weeks away,
    Hamvention officials say they are closely following the coronavirus
    (COVID-19) situation. Show organizers will post updates as the May 15 -
    17 event nears, but they're optimistic that coronavirus will not be an
    issue.

    "At this time, the Hamvention Executive Committee has been in contact
    with the Greene County Public Health Department, and we do not
    anticipate any impact because of this issue," a March 3 Hamvention
    statement said. The Greene County Public Health Department reports that
    no cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Ohio.

    "Greene County Public Health is working closely with the Ohio
    Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and
    Prevention, and are prepared to respond, should there be a community
    spread of COVID-19," the Hamvention statement noted. "The current risk
    to the general public is very low. Travel advisories are in effect, and
    can change anytime, so please see the CDC Travel visory web page
    before traveling."

    The Hamvention advisory pointed out the best ways to prevent becoming
    infected or spreading the virus:
    * Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use alcohol-based
    hand sanitizer.
    * Avoid touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.
    * Cover coughs/sneezes with your arm or a tissue.
    * Avoid exposure to others who are sick.
    * Stay home if you are ill and avoid close contact with others.
    * Get adequate sleep and eat well-balanced meals to ensure a healthy
    immune system.
    * Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

    The Ohio Department of Health also offers helpful information regarding
    COVID-19.

    Dayton Hamvention takes place May 15 - 17 at the Greene County
    Fairgrounds and Expo Center in Xenia, Ohio.

    Henry Radio Los Angeles Founder Ted Henry, W6UOU, is 100!

    Henry Radio Los Angeles founder Ted Henry, W6UOU, turned 100 years old
    on January 25. The fascinating Henry family history in amateur radio
    marketing and manufacturing dates back to the late 1920s.

    The original Henry Radio shop, started by Ted's brother Bob Henry,
    W0ARA (SK), opened in 1927 in Butler, Missouri. It stayed in business
    until Bob died in 1985. Ted and another brother, Walt, later W6ZN,
    worked with Bob Henry during the early years and became fascinated with
    ham radio. After Ted moved to Los Angeles in 1941, he opened a small
    radio shop, which he operated while attending college at UCLA

    Ted Henry, W6UOU, operating from
    American Samoa in 1957.

    with the intention of going into teaching. His shop survived the
    suspension of amateur radio during World War II by purchasing gear from
    hams and reselling it to MARS stations around the world, and by
    manufacturing crystals (in Butler and Los Angeles) for Hallicrafters'
    war production. The LA store grew quickly after the war, expanding to a
    new location where it operated for nearly 35 years, becoming a
    gathering spot for hams visiting from around the world.

    Walt Henry opened a Henry Radio branch in Anaheim, California, in the
    1960s, which closed in 1990, after his health declined.

    In 1962, Ted Henry began manufacturing tube-type power amplifiers for
    the ham radio market, starting with the original Henry 2K. Many of the
    popular line of HF amplifiers remain in use today. The plant expanded
    into the industrial RF equipment sector. In the 1970s, the company
    developed its own line of solid-state amplifiers, which it still
    manufactures for various services.

    Henry Radio also became the first Kenwood dealer in the US, marketed
    the Tempo line of ham gear, and is the oldest dealer for Bird RF test
    equipment.The current store on South Bundy Drive in Los Angeles opened
    in 1981.

    Ted Henry retired from the business in 2005. -- Thanks to Marty Woll,
    N6VI; Henry Radio
    ARRL Podcasts Schedule

    The latest (February 13) episode of the On the Air podcast focuses on
    building the hands-free soldering tool from the article, "Extend Your
    Handheld's Range with a Simple Ground-Plane Antenna," seen in the
    January/February 2020 issue of On the Air magazine; a discussion of
    open-wire feed lines, and an interview with a public service volunteer.
    A new On the Air podcast will become available on March 12.

    The latest episode of the Eclectic Tech podcast went live February 27.
    Episode 2 touches on these topics: Most expensive home PC ever; Alexa
    and amateur radio; solar activity's influence on whales, and a HamSCI
    update from Ward Silver, N0AX.

    Both podcasts are available on iTunes (iOS) and Stitcher (Android) as
    well as on Blubrry -- On the Air | Eclectic Tech.

    Dayton Hamvention Names 2020 Award Winners

    Dayton Hamvention^(R) has named five radio amateurs and one ham radio
    club as the recipients of its 2020 awards.

    Amateur of the Year

    Yasuo "Zorro" Miyazawa, JH1AJT, was named Amateur of the Year. Licensed
    in 1964 at age 15, Miyazawa became interested in DXing and, later in
    his life, international humanitarian activities. He was inducted into
    the CQ DX Hall of Fame in 2015. His many DXpeditions focus not just on
    handing out contacts but cooperating with the local population to
    implement needed humanitarian activities. In 2010 he established the
    Foundation for Global Children (FGC). "His efforts have helped
    revolutionize education in Japan by creating the learning systems for
    children who had difficulties in ordinary schools because of dyslexia,
    developmental disabilities, and other issues," the Hamvention Awards
    Committee said.

    Special Achievement Award

    Jordan Sherer, KN4CRD, of Atlanta, Georgia, is the recipient of the
    [IMG]Hamvention Special Achievement Award. A software engineer by day
    and digital amateur radio operator by night, Sherer started his journey
    into ham radio in 2017, exploring PSK31, JT65, and, later, FT8.
    Fascinated by the ability to connect with others using low power, he
    set about developing a protocol for weak-signal mesh networking and
    communication. The result was JS8Call, a free, open-source platform
    inspired by WSJT-X and fldigi. It allows for keyboard-to-keyboard,
    store-and-forward, and network relay-based communication.

    Technical Achievement Award

    Hamvention bestowed its Technical Achievement Award on a group of three
    radio amateurs who have become well-known for their development of the
    WSJT-X digital software suite. The 2020 award recipients are Steve
    Franke, K9AN; Bill Somerville, G4WJS, and Nobel Laureate Joe Taylor,
    K1JT. Over the past 7 years, the trio has collaborated on all aspects
    of WSJT-X -- in particular the digital protocol FT8 and its contesting
    variant FT4. Introduced in July 2017, FT8 now accounts for a
    significant portion of all HF ham radio activity.

    Club of the Year

    The South Canadian Amateur Radio Society (SCARS) of Norman, Oklahoma,
    is the 2020 Club of the Year. An ARRL Special Service Club formed in
    1977, the club has worked through its website, Facebook, YouTube
    channel, and weekly newsletter to expand its reach to thousands of hams
    from the local area to around the globe. The club takes emergency
    communication very seriously. NWS SKYWARN training and weekly ARES nets
    offer hams in central Oklahoma an opportunity to practice their skills
    before the next weather emergency. The club also sponsors an "Elmer
    Night" and monthly free license examination sessions, participates in
    community public service events, and works closely with the American
    Red Cross.

    Awards will be presented during Hamvention, May 15 - 17, at the Greene
    County Fairgrounds and Expo Center in Xenia, Ohio. Read more.
    International Space Station Resupply Mission to Carry New ARISS Ham
    Radio Gear

    The scheduled March 7 (UTC) SpaceX CRS-20 mission to the International
    Space Station (ISS) will include the initial Amateur Radio on the
    International Space Station (ARISS) Interoperable Radio System (IORS)
    flight unit, which is listed as a primary payload. The IORS is the
    foundation of the ARISS next-generation amateur radio system on the
    space station. Once at the space station, the IORS will be stowed for
    later installation.

    The ARISS hardware team built four flight units, and the first will be
    installed in the ISS Columbus module. A second flight unit expected to
    be launched on a later 2020 cargo flight will be installed in the
    Russian Service Module. NASA contracts with SpaceX to handle ISS
    resupply missions.

    The IORS represents the first major upgrade of on-station ARISS
    equipment. The package will include a higher-power radio, an enhanced
    voice repeater, and updated digital packet radio (APRS) and slow-scan
    television (SSTV) capabilities for both the US and Russian space
    station segments. The IORS consists of a custom-modified JVCKenwood
    TM-D710GA transceiver, an AMSAT-developed multi-voltage power supply,
    and interconnecting cables.

    The ARISS hardware team remains busy on IORS development and final
    certification. While the initial unit has been certified for launch and
    stowage on ISS, the team is still deep into the final certification of
    the IORS for flight operations, and construction of a second flight
    unit is in progress.

    ARISS will mark 20 years of continuous amateur radio operation on the
    space station in November.

    The K7RA Solar Update

    Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, reports: Last week's Friday bulletin (ARLP009)
    noted that NASA STEREO images showed two bright spots, magnetically
    complex, about to rotate over the sun's eastern horizon and onto the
    visible solar disc. I was hoping these might develop into sunspots, but
    they just faded away, so currently we have seen no sunspots in more
    than a month. Clearly, we are still at solar minimum.

    Over the past week, average daily solar flux shifted from 70.5 to 70,
    average daily planetary A index stayed the same at 6.7, while average
    daily mid-latitude A index dipped from 5 to 4.6.

    This period of low solar flux and very stable geomagnetic indicators is
    great for 160-meter propagation, especially during the winter season,
    when atmospheric noise is low. Predicted solar flux over the next 45
    days is 70 on March 5 - 12, and 71 on March 13 - April 18.

    Predicted planetary A index is 5 on March 5 - 10; 8 on March 11 - 12; 5
    on March 13 - 14; 10, 8, 10, and 8 on March 15 - 18; 5, 10, 8, and 5 on
    March 19 - 22; 8, 12, 10, and 5 on March 23 - 26; 5 on March 27 - 30;
    20, 15, and 8 on March 31 - April 2, and 5 on April 3 - 18.

    Sunspot numbers for February 27 - March 4, 2020 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0,
    and 0, with a mean of 0. The 10.7-centimeter flux was 70.9, 70.6, 70.1,
    69.3, 69.3, 70, and 69.8, with a mean of 70. Estimated planetary A
    indices were 4, 6, 11, 8, 5, 6, and 7, with a mean of 6.7. Middle
    latitude A index was 2, 4, 8, 6, 4, 4, and 4, with a mean of 4.6.

    A comprehensive K7RA Solar Update is posted Fridays on the ARRL
    website. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the
    ARRL Technical Information Service, read "What the Numbers Mean...,"
    and check out K9LA's Propagation Page.

    A propagation bulletin archive is available. Monthly charts offer
    propagation projections between the US and a dozen DX locations.

    Share your reports and observations.
    Just Ahead in Radiosport
    * March 7 - 8 -- ARRL International DX Contest (SSB)
    * March 7 -- Wake-Up! QRP Sprint (CW)
    * March 7 - 8 -- SKCC Weekend Sprintathon (CW)
    * March 7 - 8 -- Open Ukraine RTTY Championship
    * March 7 - 15 -- Novice Rig Roundup (CW)
    * March 8 -- UBA Spring Contest (CW)
    * March 8 -- WAB 3.5 MHz Phone/CW
    * March 9 -- 4 States QRP Group Second Sunday Sprint (CW, phone)
    * March 11 -- RSGB 80-Meter Club Championship (CW)
    * March 11 - 15 -- AWA John Rollins Memorial DX Contest (CW)

    See the ARRL Contest Calendar for more information. For in-depth
    reporting on amateur radio contesting, subscribe to The ARRL Contest
    Update via your ARRL member profile email preferences.

    IARU Region 2 Seeks Young Hams to Help Reshape Amateur Radio

    International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Region 2 (R2, the Americas) is
    looking for a few young hams interested in helping to remake amateur
    radio for the 21st century.

    "Frustrated that there are so few of your friends and age group that
    are interested in ham radio? Frustrated that amateur radio is in a rut,
    not doing more or different things with technology? Concerned that an
    aging demographic means ham radio is dying? And that our frequencies
    will be sold out to the highest bidder because there aren't enough hams
    to show that we use them?" IARU Region 2 said in a March 3
    solicitation. "So are we. And we want to do more than talk. We want to
    do something about it."

    According to the announcement, IARU R2 is looking for volunteers who
    would brainstorm ideas and possible actions to make amateur radio more
    attractive to a younger generation.

    "We're not looking for a single magic approach. After all, amateur
    radio means many things to many people. Rather, we're looking for
    possible ways to target specific interests that are either part of ham
    radio today or could be part of ham radio in the future to recruit and
    retain new amateurs," the solicitation said. IARU R2 said it's looking
    for radio amateurs between the ages of 18 and 35 who have been licensed
    for more than 1 year. Applicants must be self-starters willing to take
    initiative, exercise creativity, and volunteer their time.

    If interested, contact IARU Region 2 Secretary George Gorsline, VE3YV,
    telling why you are willing to volunteer, your current interests, and
    your thoughts on solutions. "Ideally, we would like to have as many
    parts of the Americas represented as possible," IARU R2 said in its
    announcement.

    "This is more than a think tank. We're prepared to provide funding to
    try out some of the proposed ideas to see how well they work. We expect
    that some ideas will work, others won't, and different things will work
    in different parts of the Americas -- one size will not fit all. As
    part of the work, IARU R2 would propose to send one person to the IARU
    R1 YOTA youth camp to experience the camp, meet with the R1 youth
    coordinators to learn about what they are doing in Europe and Africa,
    to exchange ideas, and to explore what joint activities might be done."
    -- Thanks to Joaquin Solana, XE1R, IARU Region 2
    Motorola Wins Multimillion Dollar Theft of Trade Secrets Case Against
    Hytera

    A jury for the US District Court of the Northern District of Illinois
    has awarded Motorola Solutions damages of $764.6 million in its theft
    of trade secrets and copyright infringement lawsuit against Hytera
    Communications of Shenzhen, China. In 2017, Motorola filed complaints
    in federal court alleging that Hytera's digital mobile radio (DMR)
    products employed techniques and systems that infringed on Motorola
    Solutions' patents and trade secrets. Already known for its Land Mobile
    Radio Service products, Hytera entered the amateur radio DMR market in
    2016. Its ham products include the Hytera AR482Gi digital mobile radio.

    Motorola alleged that proprietary and patented information was taken
    illegally by three former company engineers who went to work for
    Hytera, as "part of a deliberate scheme to steal and copy" its
    technology. The company said it would seek a global injunction to
    prevent Hytera from trade secret misappropriation and copyright
    infringement, a Motorola spokesperson said following the verdict.

    Motorola said technology features it developed started showing up in
    Hytera products soon after Hytera began hiring former Motorola
    engineers in 2008, according to the lawsuit.

    In a statement, Hytera expressed disappointment and disagreement with
    the verdict and said it would appeal. But, the company went on to say
    that it has "enhanced its corporate governance and added new policies
    and procedures related to intellectual property and the onboarding of
    new employees." Hytera also said it's "engaged in an ongoing process of
    removing the affected source code from the products at issue and has
    been rolling out updated software to the marketplace."
    In Brief...

    The Yasme Foundation will present its Excellence Award on March 6 to
    the individuals behind the reactivation of UN Headquarters club station
    4U1UN. The project took more than 4 years to complete. As announced
    earlier, those receiving the award are James Sarte, K2QI, and rian
    Ciuperca, KO8SCA. The team used an innovative in-house remote concept:
    the station is located on the 42nd floor of UN Headquarters in New York
    City, while the control point is on the ground floor. Jointly
    presenting the award will be ARRL Hudson Division Director Ria Jairam,
    N2RJ, and Yasme Director Martti Laine, OH2BH. Capping the ceremony will
    be the first-ever FT8 contacts from 4U1UN, with WSJT-X developer Joe
    Taylor, K1JT, at the controls. Those making the first 25 contacts will
    receive a certificate signed by Taylor. Following the presentation,
    K2QI, G6CBR, N2RJ, OH2BH, KO8SCA, and VE7NY will activate 4U1UN for the
    ARRL International DX SSB contest. QSL via HB9BOU. -- Thanks to Martti
    Laine, OH2BH

    Many radio amateurs around the world will celebrate Saint Patrick's Day
    on the air as part of the St. Patrick Award. The 48-hour event will
    take place from 1200 UTC on March 16 until 1200 UTC on March 18. Saint
    Patrick's Day is March 17. Shortwave listeners are invited to take
    part. Awards will be in five categories: SPD Station Award (for
    registered stations); Fixed/Portable Station Award; Digital Station
    Award; Mobile Station Award, and Short Wave Listener Award. Register to
    be an official participating station. Visit the event's Facebook page.
    -- Thanks to Bobby Wadey, MI0RYL

    A special event to mark Maine's bicentennial will take place during
    Statehood Week, March 16 - 21, with the on-air event extending to March
    22. Volunteers around the state will be on the air with special event
    call signs from the nine counties that existed in 1820, when Maine
    became independent of Massachusetts: W1C (Cumberland); W1H Hancock; W1K
    Kennebec; W1L Lincoln; W1O Oxford; W1P Penobscot; W1S Somerset; W1W
    Washington, and W1Y York. Three other special event stations will be
    K1J Jameson Tavern in Freeport; K1P Portland, and K1B Boston, in
    recognition of their contributions to Maine's Statehood. CW, SSB, and
    digital operation will be continuous on HF, VHF, and UHF for the
    duration of the event. The event is sponsored by the Maine Bicentennial
    Special Event Committee. Maine stations may sign up to participate as
    special event stations. Certificates will be available. ditional
    information is available on the event website. Email questions with the
    subject line "Maine 200 Special Event."

    Former CQ Magazine Awards Editor Eddie De Young, KS4AA, has passed
    away. Weeks after stepping down due to health issues, CQ Amateur Radio
    Magazine Awards Editor Eddie De Young, KS4AA (ex-VK4AN, KH6GLU, AE7AA),
    of Clearwater, Florida, died on February 25, after a period of ill
    health. He was an ARRL member. De Young had held the position for less
    than a year, according to CQ Editor Rich Moseson, W2VU. A ham since
    1954, De Young migrated to Australia in 1974, earning Wireless
    Institute of Australia (WIA) DXCC Honor Roll, 7-Band DXCC Award of
    Excellence, and DXer of the Year. He served as WIA Awards Manager and
    was an incoming QSL bureau manager in VK4. He returned to the US in
    2012. De Young took part in several DXpeditions over the years.
    Succeeding De Young at CQ will be Jim Houser, WA8JIM, of Bartlett,
    Illinois.

    The president of the River City Amateur Radio Communications Society in
    California, Paul McIntyre, KC5JAX, was one of two individuals killed on
    February 28 in a knife attack by a client at a recovery center.
    McIntyre, a father of two, had been interning at the Wellness and
    Recovery Center in Carmichael as part of his training to become a
    social worker. He was 57. Two other victims survived the attack.
    McIntyre's club reported that he was a longtime mentor and volunteer,
    and he was passionate to help others learn and enjoy amateur radio. He
    served for years as a club officer, on the Board of Directors, as net
    coordinator, and was a regular Field Day participant. "He's a
    wonderful, brave blind man who had no defense against what happened
    here," a Fox40 KTXL news story quoted his wife Barbara. She told the TV
    station that McIntyre interned at the wellness and recovery center 2
    days a week. The family has set up a GoFundMe page to help with funeral
    costs. "When the screaming started, he ran towards the danger," Anissa
    Kolda said on the GoFundMe page she set up on behalf of Barbara
    McIntyre. "His act saved a life but cost him his own." -- Thanks to
    ARRL Sacramento Valley Section Manager Carol Milazzo, KP4MD

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions
    * March 6 - 7 -- Alabama Section Convention, Trussville, Alabama
    * March 7 - Delta Division Convention, Russellville, Arkansas
    * March 13 - 14 -- Louisiana State Convention, Rayne, Louisiana
    * March 13 - 14 -- North Carolina Section Convention, Concord, North
    Carolina
    * March 14 - 15 -- Great Lakes Division Convention, Perrysburg, Ohio
    * March 14 -- Nebraska State Convention, Lincoln, Nebraska
    * March 14 -- West Virginia Section Convention, Charleston, West
    Virginia
    * March 21 -- West Texas Section Convention, Midland, Texas
    * March 29 -- Virginia Section Convention, Annandale, Virginia
    * April 10 - 11 -- Oklahoma State Convention, Claremore, Oklahoma
    * April 10 - 11 -- Maine State Convention, Lewiston, Maine
    * April 11 -- Roanoke Division Convention, Raleigh, North Carolina
    * April 18 -- Louisiana Section Convention, West Monroe, Louisiana
    * April 18 -- Delaware State Convention, Georgetown, Delaware
    * May 3 -- Eastern Pennsylvania Section Convention, Bristol,
    Pennsylvania
    * May 8 - 9 -- Arizona State Convention, Prescott Valley, Arizona
    * May 8 - 9 -- Utah State Convention, Orem, Utah
    * May 15 - 17 -- Dayton Hamvention, Xenia, Ohio
    * June 6 - 7 -- Northwestern Division Convention, Seaside, Oregon
    * June 6 - 7 -- West Pennsylvania Section Convention, Prospect,
    Pennsylvania
    * June 6 -- Georgia State Convention, Marietta, Georgia
    * June 12-13 -- HAM-CON, Plano, Texas
    * June 20 -- Tennessee State Convention, Knoxville, Tennessee

    Find conventions and hamfests in your area.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

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    --- SendMsg/2

    --- Squish/386 v1.11
    * Origin: Outpost BBS * Limestone, TN, USA (1:18/200)
  • From Sean Dennis@1:18/200 to All on Fri Mar 13 09:05:18 2020
    The ARRL Letter
    March 12, 2020

    * Visalia International DX Convention, Other Events, Canceled Due to
    Coronavirus Concerns
    * Nominations Invited for 2020 McGan Silver Antenna Award for
    Excellence in Public Relations
    * "Team Exuberance" Aims to Lower the Average Age of Contesters
    * ARRL Podcasts Schedule
    * Outer Space is Your Next Radio Frontier!
    * The K7RA Solar Update
    * Just Ahead in Radiosport
    * ARISS Celebrates Successful Launch Carrying Interoperable Radio
    System to ISS
    * International Group Reactivating the Legendary Yasme VP2VB Call
    Sign
    * In Brief...
    * Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions
    Visalia International DX Convention, Other Events, Canceled Due to
    Coronavirus Concerns

    Concern over COVID-19 has led to the cancellation of the 2020
    International DX Convention (IDXC) and of several other amateur
    radio-related events here and abroad. The IDXC was to be held April 24
    - 26 in Visalia, California.

    "We send out our apologies to all our prospective patrons of the 2020
    International DX Convention," IDXC Co-chairs Cathy Gardenias, K6VC, and
    Kris Jacob, K6TOD, said on behalf of the convention committee. "Due to
    concerns, health and well-being of our amateur radio family, our age
    group, and possible compromised health issues, we are taking the side
    of safety and canceling the convention." They conceded that, although
    the number of COVID-19 cases remains low, it only takes one person to
    pass the virus. IDXC is processing refunds.

    On March 11, the Dayton Hamvention^A(R) Executive Committee, said, "As
    of now we plan on holding Hamvention unless otherwise directed. It is
    our intention to follow the orders of the State of Ohio and the Greene
    County Health Department." On March 12, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine
    issued an executive order barring public participation in sporting
    events and other large gatherings (defined as 100 or more attendees).
    Ohio has reported four confirmed COVID-19 cases.

    An in-person version of the HamSCI workshop, set for March 20 - 21 at
    the University of Scranton, has been canceled because of the
    coronavirus situation. HamSCI's Nathaniel Frissell, W2NAF, who's
    organizing the event, said alternative plans are in play to hold a
    virtual workshop.

    The Gulf Coast Amateur Radio Club Spring Hamfest on March 14 and the
    Great Lakes Convention on March and the March 15 Toledo Hamfest in Ohio
    have been canceled. Also canceled: Communications Academy 2020, due to
    be held in Seattle, Washington, April 24 - 26.

    ARRL has created a URL that will search the ARRL Hamfest and Convention
    Database for canceled events.

    FCC Headquarters has barred the door to visitors, employees, and
    contractors who have been in any country subject to a COVID-19-related
    CDC Level 3 Travel Warning. It also has suspended until further notice
    any FCC involvement in large, non-critical gatherings involving
    national or international participants. Read more.
    Nominations Invited for 2020 McGan Silver Antenna Award for Excellence
    in Public Relations

    The ARRL Public Relations Committee invites nominations for the Philip
    J. McGan Memorial Silver Antenna Award, presented annually to a radio
    amateur who has demonstrated success in public relations efforts on
    behalf of amateur radio and who best exemplifies the volunteer spirit
    of Philip McGan, WA2MBQ (SK).

    "ARRL Public Information Officers (PIOs) and other volunteers are
    working hard every day to create greater awareness of all that amateur
    radio has to offer," the Committee said in announcing the opening of
    nominations for the award. "They are publicizing special events,
    writing press releases, or doing interviews on radio and television or
    in newspapers to highlight the service that amateur radio provides."

    A journalist, McGan was the first chairman of ARRL's Public Relations
    Committee, which helped reinvigorate ARRL's commitment to public
    relations. To honor McGan, members of the New Hampshire Amateur Radio
    Association joined with the ARRL Board of Directors to establish an
    award that would pay lasting tribute to the important contributions he
    made on behalf of amateur radio.

    Activities for which the McGan Award is presented include those
    specifically directed at bringing amateur radio to the media's and the
    public's attention in a positive light. This may include such
    traditional methods as news releases or interviews, or less traditional
    methods, such as hosting a radio show or being an active public
    speaker.

    The ARRL Board of Directors will choose the award winner at its July
    2020 meeting, based on recommendations from the ARRL Public Relations
    Committee. The Committee has responsibility for reviewing the
    nominations and supporting material.

    Eligible nominees must be full ARRL members in good standing at the
    time of nomination. The award is given only to an individual, and
    nominees may not be current ARRL officers, directors, vice directors,
    paid staffers, or members of the ARRL Public Relations Committee.
    Nominees must not be compensated for any public relations work
    involving amateur radio -- including payment for articles.

    A nominee's efforts must fit the definition of public relations and
    recognize the promotion of amateur radio to the non-amateur radio
    community.

    Nominations must be received at ARRL Headquarters by the close of
    business on Friday, May 15, 2020. Nominations must be on an official
    entry form. Anyone may make a nomination.

    "Team Exuberance" Aims to Lower the Average Age of Contesters

    Seven of the world's top youth CW operators will convene at the western
    Pennsylvania superstation of Tim Duffy, K3LR, in late May, in an effort
    to lower the average age of contest operators -- especially CW
    operators. "Team Exuberance (TE)," comprised of teens and early
    20-somethings, gained a reputation during the CQ WPX phone event in
    2019. This year, they will tackle the CQ WPX CW contest on May 30 - 31.
    The young operators have been raising money to minimize the cost of the
    adventure for the participants and their families.

    "The average age of today's CW operator is 67," the group asserted.
    "Team Exuberance CW 2020 (TE CW 2020) is out once again to take a swing
    at the radiosport establishment, disprove the adage that old

    The 2019 Team Exuberance with
    K3LR in the center.

    age and treachery will always beat youth and exuberance, and bring down
    the average age of the contesting community." They also want to prove
    "that youth contesters are legit contenders" in the radiosport arena.

    Violetta Latham, KK8AT, led the first Team Exuberance contest
    operation, which took first place in North America in the Multi-Two
    category, racking up a score of 22 million points and logging 5,700
    contacts. The team will stick to the Multi-Two format for the WPX CW
    this year.

    The TE CW 2020 team will include David Samu, VE7DZO; Marty Sullaway,
    NN1C; Philipp Springer, DK6SP; Bruce Yang, KN8U/BH4EPL; Tomi Varro,
    HA8RT; Mathias Acevedo, CE2LR, and Bryant Rascoll, KG5HVO.

    The team has mounted a GoFundMe campaign to raise the projected $8,000
    necessary to cover airfare, hotel, transportation, and meals for the
    duration of the contest. Any excess funds will be donated to the David
    Kalter Youth DX venture.

    "Your donation will not only help our team achieve the goal of
    participating in the CQ WPX CW 2020 but also keep the momentum of
    bringing more youth into the hobby and ultimately bring down the
    average age," the team said in its pitch.

    TE CW 2020 says its operators were handpicked for this contest and are
    all highly skilled and experienced. Varro, who is 21, was the 2014
    High-Speed Telegraphy (HST) competition champion, while Yang, also 21
    and a student at Georgia Tech, was the World Rookie champion for the
    2019 CQ WPX CW event.

    "While amateur radio is not a mainstream hobby for today's youth,
    finding skilled youth CW operators is even rarer," TE CW 2020 said in a
    news release. "They do [CW] because it's fun and challenging."
    ARRL Podcasts Schedule

    The latest (March 12) episode of the On the Air podcast focuses on how
    to calculate feed line loss, real-world examples of how digital and
    analog FM transceivers handle weak signals, and an interview with Rob
    Macedo, KD1CY, Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator
    and SKYWARN Coordinator for the National Weather Service Boston/Norton
    office. Rob will offer information about how hams can get involved with
    SKYWARN.

    The latest episode of the Eclectic Tech podcast (Episode 3) includes an
    interview with JS8Call creator Jason Sherer, KN4CRD, revisiting SSTV,
    and a discussion of arc-fault circuit breakers with Bob Allison,
    WB1GCM.

    Both podcasts are available on iTunes (iOS) and Stitcher (Android) as
    well as on Blubrry -- On the Air | Eclectic Tech.

    Outer Space is Your Next Radio Frontier!

    You can make contacts through amateur radio satellites, and even with
    the International Space Station, using equipment you probably own right
    now! All it takes is the right information, which you'll find in ARRL's
    new book, Amateur Radio Satellites for Beginners.

    Dozens of spacecraft are in orbit just waiting for your signals, and
    more are being launched every year. This book is your guide to a whole
    new world of operating enjoyment. Inside you will be able to locate
    satellites and determine when they will be available in orbit, gain
    tips for building your own "satellite station, find a simple
    step-by-step guide to making your first contacts, and discover
    satellite antenna projects you can build at home.

    "Even with just a dual-band FM transceiver and a mobile antenna, you
    can make contacts through an amateur satellite!" said ARRL author and
    QST Editor Steve Ford, WB8IMY.

    Building amateur radio satellites is difficult; communicating through
    amateur satellites is not. Amateur Radio Satellites for Beginners will
    introduce you to new experiences that you may have thought were out of
    your reach. Start reading and discover how easy it can be!

    Amateur Radio Satellites for Beginners is available from the ARRL Store
    or your ARRL Dealer. ARRL Item no. 1304, ISBN: 978-1-62595-130-4,
    $22.95 retail, special ARRL Member Price $19.95. Call 860-594-0355 or,
    toll-free in the US, 888-277-5289. It will also be available as an
    e-book for the Amazon Kindle.
    The K7RA Solar Update

    Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, reports: I felt cheated this week when a
    much-anticipated sunspot appeared only briefly, and after 2 days was
    gone. Sunspot region AR2758 only appeared on March 8 - 9, with daily
    sunspot numbers of 13 and 12, respectively. Some new activity is
    visible over the solar horizon -- a very active and bright spot, but
    this time in the sun's northern hemisphere.

    Average daily sunspot numbers for the week rose from zero to 3.6, while
    average daily solar flux barely increased, from 70 to 70.2. Average
    daily planetary A index declined from 6.7 to 4.4, and average middle
    latitude A index decreased from 4.6 to 3.6.

    Predicted solar flux over the next 45 days is 71 on March 12 - 14; 70
    on March 15 - 18; 72 on March 19 - 22; 70 on March 23 - April 4; 72 on
    April 5 - 18, and 70 on April 19 - 25.

    Predicted planetary A index is 5 on March 12 - 18; 12 and 8 on March 19
    - 20; 5 on March 21 - 26; 12 and 8 on March 27 - 28; 5 on March 29 -
    April 5; 10 and 8 on April 6 - 7; 5 on April 8 - 13; 8, 12, and 8 on
    April 14 - 16; 5 on April 17 - 22, and 12, 8, and 5 on April 23 - 25.

    Sunspot numbers for March 5 - 11 were 0, 0, 0, 13, 12, 0, and 0, with a
    mean of 3.6. The 10.7-centimeter flux was 69.5, 70, 69.9, 70.2, 70.8,
    70.8, and 70.5, with a mean of 70.2. Estimated planetary A indices were
    4, 5, 5, 5, 5, 4, and 3, with a mean of 4.4. Middle latitude A index
    was 3, 4, 5, 3, 5, 3, and 2, with a mean of 3.6.

    A comprehensive K7RA Solar Update is posted Fridays on the ARRL
    website. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the
    ARRL Technical Information Service, read "What the Numbers Mean...,"
    and check out K9LA's Propagation Page.

    A propagation bulletin archive is available. Monthly charts offer
    propagation projections between the US and a dozen DX locations.

    Share your reports and observations.

    Just Ahead in Radiosport
    * March 14 -- AGCW QRP Contest (CW)
    * March 14 - 15 -- RSGB Commonwealth Contest (CW)
    * March 14 - 15 -- F9AA Cup, SSB
    * March 14 - 15 -- South America 10 Meter Contest (CW, phone)
    * March 14 - 15 -- Stew Perry Topband Challenge (CW)
    * March 14 - 15 -- Oklahoma QSO Party (CW, phone)
    * March 14 - 15 -- TESLA Memorial HF CW Contest
    * March 14 - 15 -- QCWA QSO Party (CW, phone)
    * March 14 - 15 -- Idaho QSO Party (CW, phone)
    * March 14 -- QRP ARCI Spring Thaw SSB Shootout
    * March 15 -- North American Sprint, RTTY
    * March 15 - 16 -- Wisconsin QSO Party (CW, phone, digital)
    * March 16 -- Run for the Bacon QRP Contest (CW)
    * March 17 -- CLARA Chatter Party (CW, phone)
    * March 19 -- NAQCC CW Sprint

    See the ARRL Contest Calendar for more information. For in-depth
    reporting on amateur radio contesting, subscribe to The ARRL Contest
    Update via your ARRL member profile email preferences.
    ARISS Celebrates Successful Launch Carrying Interoperable Radio System
    to ISS

    Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is celebrating
    the successful launch and docking of the SpaceX-20 commercial resupply
    mission to the International Space Station (ISS). One payload on the
    flight is the ARISS Interoperable Radio System (IORS), which ARISS
    calls "the foundational element of the ARISS next-generation radio
    system" on the space station. Amateur radio has been an integral
    component of ISS missions since 2000. The Dragon cargo capsule docked
    successfully with the space station on March 9. ARISS-US Delegate for
    ARRL Rosalie White, K1STO, said hundreds of ARRL members contributed to
    make the IORS project happen, and ARISS is celebrating the 4-year-long
    project.

    "ARISS is truly grateful to ARRL and AMSAT for their co-sponsorship and
    support of ARISS since day one," White said. "ARISS greatly appreciates
    the hundreds of ham radio operators who have stood by ARISS, sending
    financial support and encouragement. A robust ham station is on its way
    to replace the broken radio on the ISS, and tens of thousands of hams
    will enjoy strong ARISS packet and ARISS SSTV signals as a result. In
    addition, thousands of students will discover and use ham radio to talk
    with a ham-astronaut. We hope to see the trend continue where more
    ARISS teachers and local clubs set up school ham clubs." The new system
    includes a higher-power radio, an enhanced voice repeater, updated
    digital packet radio (APRS), and slow-scan television (SSTV)
    capabilities for both the US and Russian space station segments.

    White called the March 7 launch, "beautiful, flawless." ARRL President
    Rick Roderick, K5UR, told ARISS that he had his fingers crossed for a
    successful launch.

    According to NASA Mission Control, it will take the three ISS crew
    members up to a month to unload and stow the 4,300 pounds of cargo on
    board the Dragon capsule, and the IORS is not a priority. The actual
    ham equipment will be installed in the ISS Columbus module. Another
    IORS unit is in line to be launched and installed in the Russian
    segment of the ISS later this year.

    The IORS consists of a custom-modified JVCKenwood TM-D710GA
    transceiver, a multi-voltage power supply, and interconnecting cables.
    The ARISS hardware team will assemble four flight units -- and 10 IORS
    units in all -- to support onboard flight operations, training,
    operations planning, and hardware testing. Future upgrades and
    enhancements to the next-generation system are in various stages of
    design and development. These include a repaired Ham Video system --
    currently planned for launch in mid-to-late 2020, an L-band (uplink)
    repeater, a microwave "Ham Communicator," and Lunar Gateway prototype
    experiment.

    International Group Reactivating the Legendary Yasme VP2VB Call Sign

    On Tuesday, March 10, an international group set sail to the British
    Virgin Islands and activated the VP2VB call sign of Yasme fame for 6
    days, focusing on the low bands with two stations. VP2VB was the call
    sign of the legendary Danny Weil, VP2VB, skipper of the Yasme series of
    sailing vessels that carried the peripatetic adventurer as he traveled
    from one DX location to another in the 1950s and early 1960s. His
    activities provided the impetus to create The Yasme Foundation. For the
    2020 "Yasme Memorial Expedition," operators will include rian
    Ciuperca, KO8SCA; Martti Laine, OH2BH; Niko Halminen, OH2GEK, and
    Sandro Nitoi, VE7NY. QSL via OH2BH.

    A Briton, Weil was a watch and clock maker by trade, and had a sense of
    adventure. His initial Yasme (often rendered as YASME) sailing voyage
    was to the British Virgin Islands. Yasme derives from the Japanese word
    "yasume," which means "to make tranquil." Another giant of ham radio
    history, the legendary DXer Dick Spencely, KV4AA, became aware of
    Weil's aspirations and suggested that he combine amateur radio with his
    ambitious travel itinerary. Spencely taught Weil Morse code and helped
    him secure the VP2VB call sign, which was to become famous around the
    globe. Spencely secured the initial ham radio gear for the Yasme and
    became a tireless fundraiser for The Yasme Foundation as well.

    Ultimately, there were three Yasmes. From 1955 until 1962, Weil
    operated from several ports of call in the Caribbean and the Pacific.
    This latter-day VP2VB DXpedition will count toward Yasme awards and
    marks the first activation of VP2VB in more than 60 years.

    This month's VP2VB DXpedition will trace Weil's original route in the
    British Virgin Islands under a special license authorization, to pay
    homage to those early years of DXing and to honor the spirit he
    embraced, which inspired a generation of DXers.

    Weil retired from DXpeditioning and settled in Texas in 1963, resuming
    his profession of a watch and clock maker and becoming a US citizen. He
    was not to be heard on the air again -- although he kept an ear on the
    bands. Weil died in 2003 at age 85.
    In Brief...

    The launch of the PSAT3 CubeSat, which was part of the DARPA Launch
    Challenge, has been canceled. The Challenge offered a $10 million prize
    for any launch provider that could deliver a rocket with only 30 days'
    notice of what payloads they would have and where they would launch
    from -- and then, to do it again only 30 days later. "We were on the
    second launch," said PSAT3's Bob Bruninga, WB4APR, of the US Naval
    Academy. "But on March 2, the third attempt by the launch provider was
    scrubbed at T-9 minutes and was not resolved until the launch window
    and DARPA Challenge deadline had passed. Therefore, the Challenge was
    over. There was no winner, and we lost the launch." The US Naval
    Academy project spacecraft remains available for a CubeSat
    Poly-Picosatellite Orbital Deployer (P-POD) launch opportunity,
    Bruninga said. He described PSAT3 as a follow-on opportunity to
    duplicate the functionality of PSAT2 in a full-sized P-POD payload that
    remains attached to the upper stage rocket body. The launch was to take
    place from Kodiak, Alaska.

    The founder of the annual Ham Radio University in New York, Phil Lewis,
    N2MUN, of Lindenhurst, New York, died on March 5. An ARRL member, he
    was 72. Lewis grew up on Long Island, attended RCA Institute, and
    worked for Hazeltine and, later, BAE Systems in the aerospace industry.
    Licensed in 1991, he was a member of Great South Bay Amateur Radio Club
    (GSBARC), serving as a volunteer examiner and instructor and
    participating in Field Day and special events. Lewis was GSBARC
    President from 2000 to 2002. He was an active DXer and contester, and a
    member of the Yankee Clipper Contest Club (YCCC).

    The Dominican Republic now has a 60-meter band. Following an Executive
    Branch vote, Dominican Republic telecommunications regulator Indotel
    has updated the country's National Frequency Allocation Plan, which
    includes the allocation of a 60-meter segment of 5351.5â**-â**5366.5
    kHz to amateur radio fixed and mobile stations (except for aeronautical
    mobile stations). Stations may not exceed a maximum radiated power of
    15 W EIRP. The Dominican Radio Club recommended adoption of the plan.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions
    * March 13 - 14 -- Louisiana State Convention, Rayne, Louisiana
    * March 13 - 14 -- North Carolina Section Convention, Concord, North
    Carolina
    * March 14 -- Nebraska State Convention, Lincoln, Nebraska
    * March 14 -- West Virginia Section Convention, Charleston, West
    Virginia
    * March 21 -- West Texas Section Convention, Midland, Texas
    * March 29 -- Virginia Section Convention, Annandale, Virginia
    * April 3 - 4 -- OzarkCon, Branson, Missouri
    * April 10 - 11 -- Oklahoma State Convention, Claremore, Oklahoma
    * April 10 - 11 -- Maine State Convention, Lewiston, Maine
    * April 11 -- Roanoke Division Convention, Raleigh, North Carolina
    * April 17-19 - Eastern VHF UHF Microwave Conference, Manchester,
    Connecticut
    * April 18 -- Louisiana Section Convention, West Monroe, Louisiana
    * April 18 -- Delaware State Convention, Georgetown, Delaware
    * April 25 - Aurora Conference , White Bear Lake, Minnesota
    * May 3 -- Eastern Pennsylvania Section Convention, Bristol,
    Pennsylvania
    * May 8 - 9 -- Arizona State Convention, Prescott Valley, Arizona
    * May 8 - 9 -- Utah State Convention, Orem, Utah
    * May 9 - MicroHAMS Digital Conference 2020, Woodinville, Washington
    * May 15 - 17 -- Dayton Hamvention, Xenia, Ohio
    * June 6 - 7 -- Northwestern Division Convention, Seaside, Oregon
    * June 6 - 7 -- West Pennsylvania Section Convention, Prospect,
    Pennsylvania
    * June 6 -- Georgia State Convention, Marietta, Georgia
    * June 12-13 -- Ham-Com, Plano, Texas
    * June 20 -- Tennessee State Convention, Knoxville, Tennessee

    Find conventions and hamfests in your area.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    ARRL -- Your One-Stop Resource for
    Amateur Radio News and Information.

    .

    .
    * Join or Renew Today! ARRL membership includes QST, amateur radio's
    most popular and informative journal, and On the Air, a new
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    magazine to receive in print, and can view the digital editions of
    both magazines online.
    * Listen to ARRL Audio News, available every Friday.

    Subscribe to...
    * NCJ -- National Contest Journal. Published bimonthly, features
    articles by top contesters, letters, hints, statistics, scores, NA
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    * QEX -- A Forum for Communications Experimenters. Published
    bimonthly, features technical articles, construction projects,
    columns, and other items of interest to radio amateurs and
    communications professionals.

    Free of charge to ARRL members...
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    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    The ARRL Letter is published Thursdays, 50 times each year. ARRL members
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    Copyright (c) 2020 American Radio Relay League, Incorporated. Use and
    distribution of this publication, or any portion thereof, is permitted for
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    purposes require written permission.


    --- SendMsg/2

    --- Squish/386 v1.11
    * Origin: Outpost BBS * Limestone, TN, USA (1:18/200)
  • From Sean Dennis@1:18/200 to All on Fri Mar 20 09:05:18 2020
    The ARRL Letter
    March 19, 2020

    * Dayton Hamvention Cancels 2020 Show
    * ARRL Suspending Tours and Guest Visits to Headquarters, W1AW
    * FCC Levies $18,000 Fine on Louisiana Amateur Radio Licensee
    * ARRL Podcasts Schedule
    * ARRL Calls for Continued Coexistence in 3.4 and 5.9 GHz Bands
    * The K7RA Solar Update
    * Just Ahead in Radiosport
    * Coronavirus May Impact Amateur Radio License Testing
    * Errata to 2020 - 2024 Amateur Extra-Class Question Pool Released
    * Georgia Institute of Technology CubeSat to Feature Amateur Radio
    Robot Operation
    * In Brief...
    * Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions
    Dayton Hamvention Cancels 2020 Show

    For the first time in its 68-year history, Dayton Hamvention^(R) will
    not take place this year, due to concerns about the coronavirus
    outbreak. The glum news was not entirely unexpected, given widespread
    cancellations of public gatherings and a national state of emergency.

    "The Hamvention Executive Committee has been monitoring the COVID-19
    pandemic. We have worked very closely with our local and state health
    departments. It is with a very heavy heart the Hamvention Executive
    Committee has decided to cancel Hamvention for this year," Hamvention
    General Chair Jack Gerbs, WB8SCT, said in announcing the cancellation
    on March 15. "This decision is extremely difficult for us, but with
    around 2 months until the Great Gathering we felt this action
    necessary. More specific details regarding the closure will soon be
    posted. Thank you for your understanding in this time of international
    crisis."

    The Dayton Hamvention cancellation comes less than a week after the
    International DX Convention in Visalia, California, called off this
    year's show. The Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA) sponsors
    Hamvention.

    Since 2017, Hamvention has been held each May at the Greene County
    Fairgrounds and Expo Center in Xenia, Ohio. The international gathering
    attracted more than 32,000 visitors in 2019.

    Hamvention's announcement has caused the cancellation of other
    associated events. These include Contest University, the Contest
    Dinner, and the Top Band Dinner. The QRP Amateur Radio Club
    International's "Four Days in May" event has also been cancelled.
    Presumably, the DX Dinner, sponsored by the SouthWest Ohio DX
    Association (SWODXA) and AMSAT Academy have also been called off,
    although no formal announcements have been made.
    ARRL Suspending Tours and Guest Visits to Headquarters, W1AW

    As part of efforts under way to help protect the health and safety of
    ARRL Headquarters employees and volunteers from the impacts of the
    coronavirus, ARRL suspended all tours and guest visits to Hiram Percy
    Maxim Memorial Station W1AW and ARRL Headquarters, effective Monday,
    March 16.

    Out of an abundance of caution, this suspension will be in effect until
    further notice. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause to
    our members and their guests who had been planning to visit us in
    Newington, Connecticut. We feel, however, that this is a necessary
    precaution and is in keeping with the guidance being provided by
    federal and local health professionals. We appreciate everyone's
    patience and understanding as we all endeavor to deal with this
    difficult public health situation.

    FCC Levies $18,000 Fine on Louisiana Amateur Radio Licensee

    In an enforcement case prompted by complaints filed in 2017, the FCC
    has imposed an $18,000 forfeiture on Jerry W. Materne, KC5CSG, of Lake
    Charles, Louisiana, for intentional interference and failure to
    identify. The FCC had proposed the fine in a Notice of Apparent
    Liability (NAL) in the case in July 2018, and, based on Materne's
    response to the NAL, the agency affirmed the fine in a March 12
    Forfeiture Order (FO).

    As the FCC recounted in the FO, an FCC agent "observed Materne causing
    intentional interference to a local repeater by generating digital
    noise into an analog radio." The agent further reported that Materne
    failed to transmit his call sign, as required.

    Materne disputed the FCC's findings, arguing that the NAL should be
    canceled because the agent "was mistaken in his determination that the
    source of the interference was Materne's station" as his radio was not
    capable of operating on the repeater frequency in question, the FCC
    said in the NO. Materne also asserted that he is unable to pay the fine
    and suggested in his response that the FCC should be able to access his
    financial information.

    The FCC countered that the radio the agent observed in Materne's
    possession was capable of operating on the frequency in question. "We
    therefore are unpersuaded...that the proposed forfeiture should be
    canceled because, he alleges, he was not the party causing interference
    to the repeater and the radio in his possession could not operate on
    the frequency in question," the FCC said in affirming the findings of
    the NAL. "We are also unpersuaded by Materne's argument that he lacks
    the ability to pay the full $18,000 forfeiture." The FCC said Materne
    failed to provide the FCC with proof of inability to pay, as required
    by the NAL.

    The FCC gave Materne 30 days to pay the fine, or face having the case
    turned over to the US Department of Justice for enforcement.
    ARRL Podcasts Schedule

    The latest (March 12) episode of the On the Air podcast focuses on how
    to calculate feed line loss, real-world examples of how digital and
    analog FM transceivers handle weak signals, and an interview with Rob
    Macedo, KD1CY, Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator
    and SKYWARN Coordinator for the National Weather Service Boston/Norton
    office. In the interview, Rob offers information about how hams can get
    involved with SKYWARN.

    The latest episode of the Eclectic Tech podcast (Episode 3) includes an
    interview with JS8Call creator Jordan Sherer, KN4CRD, revisiting SSTV,
    and a discussion of arc-fault circuit breakers with Bob Allison,
    WB1GCM.

    Both podcasts are available on iTunes (iOS) and Stitcher (Android) as
    well as on Blubrry -- On the Air | Eclectic Tech.

    ARRL Calls for Continued Coexistence in 3.4 and 5.9 GHz Bands

    In comments filed on March 9, ARRL said that while the FCC has not
    proposed to alter the secondary amateur allocation at 5.850 - 5.925
    GHz, changes the FCC has proposed for other users "will constrain
    current and future amateur operations" in that band, if the proposals
    are adopted. The Amateur Radio Service shares the 5.850 - 5.925 GHz
    band on a secondary basis with Dedicated Short-Range Communications
    (DSRC) systems. Amateur radio also shares the 5.850 - 5.875 GHz segment
    with industrial, scientific, and medical (ISM) applications. ARRL's
    comments were in response to a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) in
    WT Docket 19-138, in which the FCC said it would "take a fresh and
    comprehensive look" at the rules for the 5.9 GHz band and proposed to
    make the lower 45 MHz of the band available for unlicensed operations
    and to permit vehicle safety systems in the upper 30 MHz of the band.

    "This proceeding is of concern to radio amateurs across the country,
    because many of the operations carried out in this band are similar to
    those conducted in the 3.4 GHz band, from which the Commission, in a
    companion proceeding, is proposing to evict radio amateur operations,"
    ARRL said.

    ARRL urged the FCC "to consider holistically" its various spectrum
    reallocation proposals for mid-range spectrum, including the 5.9 GHz
    and 3.4 GHz proceedings as well as proposals in another proceeding that
    would affect 5.925 - 7.125 GHz. Those proposals would dedicate up to
    1.2 GHz of spectrum for various types of unlicensed devices.

    "The spectrum must be managed carefully and additional shared spectrum
    considered in order not to severely curtail amateur networks that often
    are used in public service applications when similar capabilities are
    not available to public service providers," ARRL said in its remarks.

    ARRL noted the widespread use of 5.9 GHz in particular for amateur mesh
    and amateur television networks and links that radio amateurs have
    engineered into the band on a non-interference secondary basis, often
    for public service purposes. "For decades, these radio amateur uses
    have coexisted successfully with the primary users of the 5.9 GHz band
    without harmful interference," ARRL pointed out.

    "Because of the flexibility, knowledge, and dedication of many
    individual radio amateurs, we can continue to operate and even grow, so
    long as both the 3.4 and 5.9 GHz bands remain available for amateur
    radio purposes on a secondary basis," ARRL said. "ditional sharing
    opportunities also should be made available where doing so would not
    interfere with primary operations and would employ otherwise unused
    spectrum for public benefit purposes," ARRL added, referencing a
    pending 3.1 - 3.3 GHz spectrum review by the National
    Telecommunications and Information ministration (NTIA), which manages
    spectrum used by the federal government.
    The K7RA Solar Update

    Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, reports: On Wednesday, Spaceweather.com
    reported a new emerging Solar Cycle 25 sunspot in the sun's northern
    hemisphere, but it was not yet numbered. Last week, we reported
    sunspots on just 2 days, March 8 and 9.

    Average daily sunspot numbers over the March 12 - 18 reporting week
    declined from 3.6 to zero, and daily solar flux values dipped from 70.2
    to 70.1. Geomagnetic averages were quiet but higher, with planetary A
    index changing from 4.4 to 5.9 and middle latitude A index from 3.6 to
    4.1.

    Predicted solar flux for the next 45 days is 72 on March 19 - 21; 70 on
    March 22 - April 4; 72 on April 5 - 18; 70 on April 19 - May 1, and 72
    on May 2.

    Predicted planetary A index is 8 on March 19; 5 on March 20 - 26; 12
    and 8 on March 27 - 28; 5 on March 29 - April 5; 10 and 8 on April 6 -
    7; 5 on April 8 - 13; 8, 12, and 8 on April 14 - 16; 5 on April 17 -
    22; 12 and 8 on April 23 - 24, and 5 on April 25 - May 2.

    We have been looking forward to the vernal equinox, which occurs at
    0350 UTC on March 20 -- and now perhaps with a new emerging sunspot.
    This is a favorable time for HF propagation, with both the northern and
    southern hemispheres receiving an equal amount of solar radiation.
    Space.com has some of the finer details on the beginning of spring
    2020.

    Sunspot numbers for March 12 - 18 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, and 0, with a
    mean of 0. The 10.7-centimeter flux was 69.9, 68.8, 68.1, 70.2, 69.8,
    71.6, and 72, with a mean of 70.1. Estimated planetary A indices were
    7, 7, 3, 5, 7, 6, and 6, with a mean of 5.9. Middle latitude A index
    was 7, 6, 2, 3, 3, 4, and 4, with a mean of 4.1.

    A comprehensive K7RA Solar Update is posted Fridays on the ARRL
    website. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the
    ARRL Technical Information Service, read "What the Numbers Mean...,"
    and check out K9LA's Propagation Page.

    A propagation bulletin archive is available. Monthly charts offer
    propagation projections between the US and a dozen DX locations.

    Share your reports and observations.

    Just Ahead in Radiosport
    * March 21 -- Feld Hell Sprint
    * March 21 -- AGCW VHF/UHF Contest (CW)
    * March 21 - 22 -- Russian DX Contest (CW, phone)
    * March 21 - 22 -- Virginia QSO Party (CW, phone, digital)
    * March 21 - 23 -- BARTG HF RTTY Contest
    * March 22 -- UBA Spring Contest, SSB
    * March 25 -- SKCC Sprint (CW)
    * March 25 -- UKEICC 80-Meter Contest (CW)
    * March 26 -- RSGB 80-Meter Club Championship, SSB

    See the ARRL Contest Calendar for more information. For in-depth
    reporting on amateur radio contesting, subscribe to The ARRL Contest
    Update via your ARRL member profile email preferences.
    Coronavirus May Impact Amateur Radio License Testing

    ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC) Manager Maria Somma, AB1FM,
    anticipates that the number of new and upgraded radio amateurs will
    take a dip in March as VE teams cancel exam sessions due to coronavirus
    social distancing guidelines. She cited FCC Universal Licensing System
    (ULS) figures showing that new ham licenses granted for the first half
    of March totaled 1,298, while another 296 licensees upgraded. Those
    numbers are down from the 1,697 new ham licenses granted during the
    same period last year, which also saw 467 upgrades.

    "Some sessions are still going on, because they don't have bans in
    place yet. Also, some teams that only test one or two candidates every
    month may be able to continue, since that is well below the number of
    people that most authorities are advising should gather," Somma said.
    She anticipates a surge will come after bans on larger gatherings are
    lifted, because examinees are eager to take the exams they have been
    studying hard for.

    Somma cautioned that, while March 2020 license numbers appear to be
    trending downward, it's not possible to reliably predict how an entire
    month will play out by extrapolating partial-month numbers. "March is
    the beginning of the busy part of the year, but depending on how the
    weekends fall and when licensing classes end, a month may peak at
    different points or be busy the whole way through," she said. More than
    764,000 US amateur radio licensees are in the FCC database.

    ARRL VEC's March VE E-Newsletter assured Volunteer Examiners that their
    health and safety are top priority and that the ARRL VEC is taking the
    coronavirus outbreak very seriously. "We understand that with the
    rapidly changing updates on restrictions and canceled or postponed
    public events, our VE teams are in different locations and should do
    what is best for them and their communities," Somma said. "We urge you
    to stay informed, so you can make informed decisions based on your
    local community's guidelines, as each community is unique. Then use
    your best judgement when deciding whether or not to conduct, postpone,
    or cancel an exam session."

    Somma directed ARRL VEC VEs and teams to the Centers for Disease
    Control (CDC) website or to local health departments for the latest
    information.

    Errata to 2020 - 2024 Amateur Extra-Class Question Pool Released

    The NCVEC Question Pool Committee has issued errata to the new (2020 -
    2024) Amateur Extra-class question pool that goes into effect on July
    1. Most changes are minor, involving typographical or style errors.

    In the syllabus at the top of the pool:
    * E1C -- Changed "bandwith" to "bandwidth"
    * E3B -- In sub-element heading, deleted "grayline"
    * E9D -- Changed "feedpoint" to "feed point"

    In sub-element 3:
    * Changed "41 questions" to "40 questions"

    In the question pool:
    * E1C13 -- In answer C, changed "Utilities Telecom Council" to
    "Utilities Technology Council (UTC)"
    * E1C14 -- In question, changed "Utilities Telecom Commission" to
    "Utilities Technology Council (UTC)"
    * E1D03 -- In answer, choices C and D, changed "earth" to "Earth"
    * E2A02 -- In question, changed "inverted" to "inverting"
    * E3B -- In sub-element heading, deleted "grayline"
    * E3B08 -- Question withdrawn from pool and marked as deleted. The
    remaining questions in E3B were not renumbered, leaving 11
    questions.
    * E5B04 -- In question, changed "220 microfarad" and "1 megohm" to
    "220-microfarad" and "1-megohm"
    * E7C09 -- In answer B, added a space between "1" and "kHz"
    * E8C10 -- In question, changed "symbol" to "data"
    * E9C02 -- In question, changed "1/4 wavelength" to "1/4-wavelength"
    * E9C03 -- In question, changed "1/2 wavelength" to "1/2-wavelength"
    * E9D -- in sub-element heading, changed "feedpoint" to "feed point"
    * E9E09 -- Removed brackets after answer (C).

    The Amateur Extra-class question pool will be updated to reflect these
    changes. Submit feedback or questions to the Question Pool Committee.
    Georgia Institute of Technology CubeSat to Feature Amateur Radio Robot
    Operation

    The Glenn Lightsey Research Group's Space Systems Design Lab at the
    Georgia Institute of Technology is sponsoring a 1U CubeSat mission that
    will include a digital robot. The primary function of the GT-1
    satellite is to serve as an educational proof of concept and satellite
    bus demonstrator.

    Georgia Tech will use this mission as an opportunity for undergraduates
    to get involved in all facets of a space mission, from design to
    implementation and support. GT-1 will test a prototype deployable
    antenna and solar panels, which can be used for future missions derived
    from the same baseline design, and with inclusion of additional
    experimental equipment. It will operate with AX.25 protocol telemetry.
    In partnership with the W4AQL Georgia Tech Amateur Radio Club, the
    satellite will also host a digital contact robot payload, inspired by
    the earlier Russian RS-12 and RS-13 satellites of the early 1990s. GT-1
    will collect contact information from stations that contact the robot
    as it orbits.

    The satellite will also function as a standard digipeater. Plans call
    for a deployment from the International Space Station in October. --
    Thanks to AMSAT News Service
    In Brief...

    One of two US VHF-UHF-microwave groups has canceled its 2020
    conference, while another has postponed its event. The Southeastern VHF
    Society (SVHFS) Board of Directors has announced the indefinite
    postponement of the annual SVHFS Conference. "Because of the health and
    safety concerns of our society members and the uncertainty of time of
    our national emergency caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the
    Society's Board of Directors elected to postpone this year's conference
    indefinitely," SVHFS announced. "The Board of Directors will be
    discussing alternate solutions for this year's conference, including
    the determination of registrations and the publishing of this year's
    proceedings. The outcome of the Board's decisions will be posted as
    soon as a determination has been made. For now, please stay healthy and
    safe, and enjoy our wonderful hobby." The conference had been scheduled
    for April 24 - 25 in Gainesville, Georgia. The co-chairs of the 2020
    Eastern VHF-UHF-Microwave Conference sponsored by the North East Weak
    Signal (NEWS) Group have announced the cancellation of the event,
    "because of health and safety concerns for our attendees that has been
    caused by the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent state and federal
    [states of] emergency." The conference had been scheduled for April 17
    - 19 in Manchester, Connecticut.

    The World Radiosport Team Championship 2022 (WRTC 2022) Organizing
    Committee is, at least for now, staying on course. "We understand
    [coronavirus] is disrupting travel and operating plans in ways that
    affect different areas of the world unequally. However, it is not
    realistic for us to predict the extent and evolution of the effects of
    the pandemic. We have to wait and see how the situation develops,"
    Carlo De Mari, IK1HJS, announced on the WRTC 2022 website. WRTC 2022
    will stick with the qualifying events and schedule in the published
    qualification rules and is considering various options. "No decisions
    have been made at this time," the announcement said. "Please continue
    with your plans as best you can for now." WRTC 2022 will be held in
    July 2022 in Bologna, Italy.

    Red Cross-affiliated radio amateurs from many states and Puerto Rico
    are planning a nationwide Red Cross emergency communications drill for
    May 30. The drill will consist of two parts. Part A will be a local
    optional drill held on VHF for participants to practice passing voice
    traffic with relay stations set up in local EOCs or via mobile stations
    parked strategically between Red Cross HQ and suburban shelters. Part B
    will be national in scope, with hams passing Red Cross forms using the
    ARC Message Utility technique on Winlink RF. Messages will be marked
    "DRILL" and will be sent to the Red Cross Safe & Well HQ in New York
    City as a clearinghouse. For further information, or to express
    interest in participating, contact Wayne Robertson, K4WK. -- Thanks to
    The ARES E-Newsletter

    IARU Region 2 Emergency Communication and Satellite workshops will be
    held online. With travel restrictions and self-isolation requirements
    in many countries due to COVID-19, the May 30 and 31 International
    Amateur Radio Union Region 2 (IARU R2) Emergency Communication and
    Satellite workshops will be online. The new format will be 3 hours for
    each workshop and will be held on the same dates starting at 1800 UTC.
    Access will be via Zoom, an easy-to-use online conference tool
    available for several platforms. Attendees will get an agenda for each
    workshop and information on how to participate in mid-May. -- Thanks to
    George Gorsline, VE3YV, IARU Region 2 Secretary

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Note: Many conventions and hamfests have been canceled or postponed due
    to the coronavirus pandemic. Check the calendar of canceled events on
    the ARRL website.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    * April 18 -- Delaware State Convention, Georgetown, Delaware
    * April 25 - Aurora Conference, White Bear Lake, Minnesota
    * May 9 - MicroHAMS Digital Conference 2020, Woodinville, Washington
    * June 6 - 7 -- Northwestern Division Convention, Seaside, Oregon
    * June 6 - 7 -- West Pennsylvania Section Convention, Prospect,
    Pennsylvania
    * June 6 -- Georgia State Convention, Marietta, Georgia
    * June 12 -- 13 -- Ham-Com, Plano, Texas
    * June 20 -- Tennessee State Convention, Knoxville, Tennessee

    Find conventions and hamfests in your area.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    ARRL -- Your One-Stop Resource for
    Amateur Radio News and Information.

    .

    .
    * Join or Renew Today! ARRL membership includes QST, amateur radio's
    most popular and informative journal, and On the Air, a new
    bimonthly magazine for beginner hams. ARRL members can choose which
    magazine to receive in print, and can view the digital editions of
    both magazines online.
    * Listen to ARRL Audio News, available every Friday.

    Subscribe to...
    * NCJ -- National Contest Journal. Published bimonthly, features
    articles by top contesters, letters, hints, statistics, scores, NA
    Sprint, and QSO parties.
    * QEX -- A Forum for Communications Experimenters. Published
    bimonthly, features technical articles, construction projects,
    columns, and other items of interest to radio amateurs and
    communications professionals.

    Free of charge to ARRL members...
    * Subscribe to the ARES E-Letter (monthly public service and
    emergency communications news), the ARRL Contest Update (biweekly
    contest newsletter), Division and Section news alerts -- and much
    more!
    * Find ARRL on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter and Instagram!
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    The ARRL Letter is published Thursdays, 50 times each year. ARRL members
    and registered guests may subscribe at no cost or unsubscribe by editing
    their profile.

    Copyright (c) 2020 American Radio Relay League, Incorporated. Use and
    distribution of this publication, or any portion thereof, is permitted for
    non-commercial or educational purposes, with attribution. All other
    purposes require written permission.


    --- SendMsg/2

    --- Squish/386 v1.11
    * Origin: Outpost BBS * Limestone, TN, USA (1:18/200)
  • From Sean Dennis@1:18/200 to All on Fri Mar 27 09:05:32 2020
    The ARRL Letter
    March 26, 2020

    * ARRL Headquarters Closes, May QST Delivery is on Schedule
    * Ham Radio Clubs Connect Amid Social Distancing
    * Radio Amateurs Team Up to Help University Design Low-Cost
    Ventilator
    * ARRL Podcasts Schedule
    * International Amateur Radio Union justing to COVID-19
    * The K7RA Solar Update
    * Just Ahead in Radiosport
    * Major Florida Emergency Communication Conference and Exercise are a
    Major Success
    * Long Island CW Club Offering Free Online Code Instruction for
    Homebound Youngsters
    * Tower-Mounted Christmas Lights Cheer California Neighborhood
    * In Brief...
    * Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions
    ARRL Headquarters Closes, May QST Delivery is on Schedule

    ARRL Headquarters has closed, in compliance with an executive order
    from Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont that all non-essential businesses
    and not-for-profit entities reduce their in-person workforces by 100%.
    ARRL has equipped as many Headquarters staffers as possible to work
    offsite.

    "ARRL remains operational, while our teams work remotely to abide by
    Connecticut's Stay Home, Stay Safe policy, and most departments are
    maintaining business as usual," ARRL Interim CEO Barry Shelley, N1VXY,
    explained. "We are doing all we can under the circumstances and trying
    to maintain operations in as normal a way as possible."

    The print edition of the May issue of QST, now off the presses, will go
    out in the mail next week, and the US Postal Service anticipates no
    delivery disruptions. Digital QST and the pending digital debuts of QEX
    and NCJ are expected to be posted on schedule. The May issue of QST
    will include more details on the QEX and NCJ digital editions -- a new
    member benefit -- as well as an intriguing cover article on "The
    Lightbulb QSO Party."

    ARRL also anticipates that The ARRL Letter, ARRL Audio News, the ARES
    E-Letter, The ARRL Contest Update, and the Eclectic Technology podcast
    will be available as usual.

    Although ARRL Headquarters closed, W1AW continues operating, but on a
    slightly altered transmission schedule. Morning code practice and
    qualifying run transmissions have been suspended; evening
    transmissions, including qualifying runs, will go on as usual. W1AW
    remains closed to the public, however.

    Operations at the ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC) will also
    continue, and the best way to receive a timely response is via email,
    as call volume has been heavy.

    The ARRL warehouse is working with a reduced staff, so orders will be
    delayed, and ARRL will not be able to respond to expedited shipping
    orders.

    Members should direct questions to ARRL via email.

    "Thank you for your patience during this time of adjustment," Shelley
    said.
    Ham Radio Clubs Connect Amid Social Distancing

    As college campuses have sent students home to finish their classes
    online, members of the K7UAZ Amateur Radio Club in Tucson -- a student
    organization at the University of Arizona -- have moved their radio
    club meetings to the radio. K7UAZ Station Manager Curt Laumann, K7ZOO,
    said that when the university largely shuttered its campus, club
    President Ken Gourley, KM6BKU, immediately transitioned regular
    meetings to an on-the-air format using the university repeater. The
    club was already holding a weekly net on Monday nights, but the added
    on-air club meetings offer another opportunity to get on the radio.

    In recent months, in-person K7UAZ club meetings have hosted
    presentations on such topics as EME (Earth-moon-Earth) communication
    and an AMSAT CubeSat simulation. As meetings move on the air, Gourley
    explained, he will send out a copy of meeting presentation slides so
    members can follow along. "I will lead the net and start with
    check-ins," he said. "We will work our way through the slides,
    discussing previous events, upcoming activities, the treasurer's
    report, projects, etc. I will take new check-ins every 5 - 10 minutes.
    We will conclude with officer comments and general comments. Hopefully
    it won't take more than 30 - 45 minutes."

    ARRL staff member Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R, who liaises for the ARRL
    Collegiate Amateur Radio Initiative (CARI), underscores the importance
    that all radio clubs encourage on-the-air activity in this challenging
    time. "While I know many businesses and schools have moved to online
    meetings and learning, I can think of many advantages for a radio club
    to move club meetings to on-air," Inderbitzen said. His list includes:
    * Holding short meetings on the air will encourage individual club
    members to practice their personal radio communication
    capabilities. Station and skills readiness are tenets of the
    Amateur Radio Service.
    * Nets generally help new radio amateurs gain practical operating
    experience. Think of this current challenge as an opportunity to
    encourage your club's new hams to get on the air.
    * As online fatigue and a feeling of isolation will inevitably creep
    into our "new normal," being on-air will introduce variety into our
    communication practices. As many of us are now homebound working or
    studying, turning on a radio to connect with your ham radio peers
    will be welcome respite!

    At K7UAZ, experienced club members provide instruction for members to
    access the K7UAZ ARC repeater from 2 meters and via EchoLink. The club
    also offers members the opportunity to borrow handheld radios or to be
    patched in via HF or videoconferencing, if they live too far away from
    the repeater.

    ARRL is encouraging university radio clubs to network with other clubs
    and students via ARRL's CARI Facebook group. "Keeping our campus radio
    clubs going will ensure we are, together, advancing the art, science,
    and enjoyment of amateur radio. It's our collective mission,"
    Inderbitzen said.

    Radio Amateurs Team Up to Help University Design Low-Cost Ventilator

    Amateur radio volunteers from around the world have volunteered to
    assist University of Florida Professor Sam Lampotang and his
    engineering team in their quest to rapidly develop an open-source,
    low-cost patient ventilator that can be built anywhere from such
    commonly available components as PVC pipe and lawn-sprinkler valves.

    The amateur radio volunteers are developing Arduino-based control
    software that will set the respiratory rate and other key parameters in
    treating critically ill coronavirus victims.

    Multiple volunteers responding to a call for help from Gordon Gibby,
    MD, KX4Z, include noted software developer Jack Purdum, W8TEE, and
    uBITX transceiver maker Ashhar Farhan, VU2ESE. University of Florida
    physicians are working to address the critical legal aspects as the
    design moves closer to fruition. The ventilator's valves would
    precisely time compressed oxygen flow into patient breathing circuits
    under Arduino control, allowing exhausted patients with "stiff" lungs
    impacted by viral pneumonia to survive until their body can clear the
    infection.

    The software design team is also adding simple features such as an LCD
    display, encoders to choose parameters, and watchdog safety features.
    ARRL Podcasts Schedule

    The latest (March 12) episode of the On the Air podcast focuses on how
    to calculate feed line loss, real-world examples of how digital and
    analog FM transceivers handle weak signals, and an interview with Rob
    Macedo, KD1CY, Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator
    and SKYWARN Coordinator for the National Weather Service Boston/Norton
    office. Rob offers information about how hams can get involved with
    SKYWARN.

    The latest episode of the Eclectic Tech podcast (Episode 4) includes an
    interview with Eric Knight, KB1EHE, updating the RF-based Alzheimer's
    therapy featured in QST, and an interview with Robert Dixon, W8ERD,
    about the "Wow!" signal and SETI. Dixon was the Big Ear project
    director when the Wow! signal was received.

    Both podcasts are available on iTunes (iOS) and Stitcher (Android) as
    well as on Blubrry -- On the Air | Eclectic Tech.

    International Amateur Radio Union justing to COVID-19

    The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) has reported on how it's
    addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, given the various restrictions in
    place to slow the spread of the virus. IARU said the International
    Telecommunication Union (ITU) Headquarters in Geneva remains off limits
    to visitors until April 17 at the earliest. ITU has cancelled some
    meetings, postponed others, and converted others into online
    gatherings. IARU representatives are adjusting plans accordingly and
    following a similar pattern.

    While Dayton Hamvention has canceled its 2020 show, Europe's largest
    amateur radio gathering, HAM RADIO in Friedrichshafen, Germany, is
    still on schedule for June 26â**-â**28.

    IARU Region 2 Emergency Communications and Satellite Communications
    workshops set for May 30 - 31 in Trinidad and Tobago will now be held
    online. IARU reports that interest and registrations have surged since
    the announcement. These workshops will be held in English, but
    preparations are under way for workshops in Spanish to be held later.

    IARU Region 3 has canceled its first Youngsters on the Air (YOTA) Camp
    that had been planned for early October in Rayong, Thailand.

    World Amateur Radio Day on April 18 this year celebrates the 95th
    anniversary of the IARU's founding. IARU has allowed that amateur radio
    "is the best way to practice social distancing."

    IARU Region 1 (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) has asked
    member-societies to "reconsider their position" on Field Day events
    over the next few months.

    "Field Days bring radio amateurs together and, therefore, represent an
    environment where social distancing is difficult to achieve," IARU
    Region 1 President Don Beattie, G3BJ, said. "We must recognize that
    many radio amateurs are in the older, higher-risk age groups." IARU
    will not sponsor the Region 1 HF CW Field Day in June but said national
    societies have to make their own decisions as to whether their Field
    Day events will go forward.

    Beattie said single-operator contests "remain a great way for those
    forced to stay at home to enjoy the magic of amateur radio."
    The K7RA Solar Update

    Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, reports: We saw another week with no sunspots,
    which were last seen just briefly more than 2 weeks ago on March 8 - 9.
    Spaceweather.com reports that, so far in 2020, the percentage of days
    without sunspots (76%) is about the same as all of 2019, when it was
    77%.

    Average daily solar flux inched up from 70.1 to 71.1. Geomagnetic
    indicators remain quiet, with average planetary A index at 7.7, a
    little higher than the previous week's 5.9 average. Average
    mid-latitude A index was also 5.9, up from 4.1 last week.

    Predicted solar flux for the next 45 days is 71 on March 26 - April 2;
    70 on April 3 - 4; 72 on April 5 - 18; 70 on April 19 - May 1, and 72
    on May 2 - 9.

    Predicted planetary A index is 5 on March 26 - 29; 12 on March 30 - 31;
    8 on April 1; 5 on April 2 - 5; 10 and 8 on April 6 - 7; 5 on April 8 -
    13; 8, 12, and 8 on April 14 - 16; 5 on April 17 - 22; 12 and 8 on
    April 23 - 24; 5 on April 25 - May 2; 10 and 8 on May 3 - 4, and 5 on
    May 5 - 9.

    Sunspot numbers for March 19 - 25 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, and 0, with a
    mean of 0. The 10.7-centimeter flux was 72.1, 71.7, 70.8, 70.2, 70.4,
    71.2, and 71.2, with a mean of 71.1. Estimated planetary A indices were
    12, 7, 8, 7, 12, 4, and 4, with a mean of 7.7. Middle latitude A index
    was 7, 5, 5, 7, 10, 4, and 3, with a mean of 5.9.

    A comprehensive K7RA Solar Update is posted Fridays on the ARRL
    website. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the
    ARRL Technical Information Service, read "What the Numbers Mean...,"
    and check out K9LA's Propagation Page.

    A propagation bulletin archive is available. Monthly charts offer
    propagation projections between the US and a dozen DX locations.

    Share your reports and observations.

    Just Ahead in Radiosport

    See the ARRL Contest Calendar for more information. For in-depth
    reporting on amateur radio contesting, subscribe to The ARRL Contest
    Update via your ARRL member profile email preferences.
    * March 28 -- FOC QSO Party (CW)
    * March 28 - 29 -- CQ WW WPX Contest, SSB
    * March 30 - 31 -- QCX Challenge (CW)
    * April 2 -- UKEICC 80-Meter Contest (Phone)
    * April 2 -- SARL 80-Meter QSO Party (Phone)
    * April 2 -- NRAU 10-Meter Activity Contest (CW, phone, digital)
    * April 2 -- SKCC Sprint Europe (CW)

    Major Florida Emergency Communication Conference and Exercise are a
    Major Success

    Radio amateurs and communications professionals from several states
    convened over the February 29 - March 1 weekend in Gainesville,
    Florida, for a training conference and exercise to test new skills
    learned along with basic radio communication skills and protocols. The
    Alachua County Emergency Manager and staff served as exercise
    evaluators. Former FEMA ministrator Craig Fugate, KK4INZ, also
    attended and served as an exercise player on Sunday. The weekend's
    programs and exercise were developed by Gordon Gibby, KX4Z, who also
    conducted the optional ARRL EC-001 Introduction to Emergency
    Communications course on Friday.

    "Overall, the exercise was positively reviewed by both the participants
    and the professional evaluators," reported Rick Palm, K1CE, who edits
    the ARES E-Letter and took part in the activity. "For the participants,
    a few of the more-challenging objectives were documentation on the ICS
    forms, and establishing HF voice/Winlink connections, which were
    ultimately achieved successfully," he recounted. "Some participants
    were unclear on some procedures and instructions. Set-up and getting HF
    antennas erected resulted in delay, leaving some message traffic backed
    up." These stumbling blocks were discussed in an after-exercise
    debriefing, Palm said.

    "More easily accomplished was setting up radio equipment, using VHF
    packet, and addressing the issues presented [by the exercise
    moderators]. Group relationships were dynamic and positive. Units were
    able to check into the command net with little difficulty," Palm added.

    The conference featured a basic track for individuals needing basic or
    advanced skill improvement, and a leadership track for ARES^A(R)
    leaders who need to design and execute exercises while growing local
    groups. The day kicked off with a review of amateur radio disaster
    response, with discussion focused on service to main stakeholders,
    including government agencies, NGOs, and disaster survivors. Topics
    covered the importance of communications when "lives are really at
    stake" and the value of exercises.

    Good weather prevailed for the Sunday exercise with a large and
    enthusiastic group of radio amateurs on hand to put lessons learned the
    previous day into practice by playing out the Homeland Security
    Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP)-compliant exercise dubbed

    Former FEMA ministrator
    Craig Fugate, KK4INZ, also
    attended and served as a Hot
    & Cold exercise player.

    2020 Hot & Cold. The scenario was a malfunction of high-pressure
    natural gas pipelines with telecommunications failures. Resources
    required included VHF/UHF/HF voice and digital equipment and
    capabilities; the Winlink system, and the NTS/RRI networks.

    The Incident Command post and shelters for area residents were staffed
    and set up with both long-haul, regional, and local radio communication
    capabilities. The overall exercise mission was "response."

    Players worked to meet several objectives, which included joining the
    command net, using alternative antennas (such as a long wire to replace
    a Yagi), employing emergency power sources and alternatives in the
    event of failures, checking into an HF voice net for message handling,
    using Winlink to access gateways and make connections, practicing voice
    net control procedures, drafting ICS-213 message forms and
    transmitting, receiving, and relaying messages, composing and
    transmitting situation reports to the Incident Command Post via the
    command net, and completing required documentation.

    Participant surveys indicated that those taking part felt that the best
    features of the exercise were testing equipment, learning how to
    complete the ICS forms, having the ICS-205 frequency plan ahead of the
    exercise, antennas, and power source testing.

    Surveys and comments indicated that some participants wished they had
    studied the exercise plan missions and objectives more in advance;
    understood the forms they had access to better in Winlink; were more
    familiar with Winlink, local frequencies, and digital modes in general;
    tested their equipment before leaving home, and had advance practice
    with the packet mode.

    "[These are] all good learning opportunities that will result in
    greater efficiency in next year's exercise, and, of course, the real
    thing, should that occur," Palm said.

    Long Island CW Club Offering Free Online Code Instruction for Homebound
    Youngsters

    The Long Island CW Club in New York is offering free online Morse code
    instruction for the "many youngsters at loose ends as a result of
    school closings due to COVID-19 concerns." The club's co-founder,
    Howard Bernstein, WB2UZE, pointed out that learning Morse code is "a
    fun and educational activity for children of all ages that can fill
    part of the gap left by the current unfortunate situation that has
    closed so many schools across the country."

    Ongoing classes will take place Monday through Friday, specifically for
    school-agers anywhere across the country or overseas, via Zoom online
    video conferencing.

    A computer equipped with a microphone and camera is required. Classes
    for elementary schoolers run 30 minutes starting at 1600 UTC, followed
    by 45-minute classes for middle- and high school-aged students,
    starting at 1645 UTC. Parental permission is required through advance
    registration.

    Contact class instructor Rob Zarges, K2MZ, by e-mail or call
    508-831-8248. -- Thanks to Mel Granick, KS2G, ARRL New York City-Long
    Island Section Public Information Coordinator
    Tower-Mounted Christmas Lights Cheer California Neighborhood

    According to media reports, some Southern California residents have
    been turning their Christmas lights back on to bolster the mood of the
    neighborhood during the coronavirus pandemic.

    "That caught my eye," Chip Margelli, K7JA, of Garden Grove, told ARRL.
    "Every year, I put lights up on my 70-foot fixed tower, turning it into
    the tallest Christmas tree in Garden Grove; it is quite a beacon in the
    neighborhood."

    Because of knee replacement surgery last December, Margelli had not yet
    taken down his Christmas lights, so he re-lit them and put an
    announcement on the local Neighborhood Watch Facebook page. Margelli
    said a lot of positive comments indicated his neighbors would follow
    suit.

    "So, hams everywhere can use amateur radio to do something to increase
    the cheer factor in their neighborhoods, even though it's not over the
    air," Margelli suggested. "Spreading goodwill like this can surely only
    improve our image in the community." -- Thanks to Chip Margelli, K7JA
    In Brief...

    Refunds are available for canceled Dayton Hamvention-associated social
    events. These include Contest University, the Contest Dinner, and the
    Top Band Dinner. Each event has its own procedures. Those who signed up
    for the DX Dinner will be able to obtain refunds via PayPal. An email
    to all registrants will provide details. -- Thanks to Tim Duffy, K3LR,
    SWODXA

    Club Log is contributing 100% of its computing resources to the
    Folding@Home Project. The project simulates the dynamics of COVID-19
    proteins to hunt for new therapeutic opportunities. Club Log's Michael
    Wells, G7VJR, said he's assigned a higher priority to the Folding@Home
    work, so radio amateurs may experience slightly longer upload times.
    "You can help, too, by contributing your own computer to the project,"
    Wells said. "If you have a recent home computer with a good graphics
    card, and if a lot of people make a contribution, it will make a
    significant difference to the research, potentially reducing decades of
    work to a far shorter time frame that will make a practical difference
    this year." He cautions that computers involved in the project will be
    operating at 100% CPU, when not otherwise in use. Club Log's
    Folding@Home team number is 246763.

    The Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) HF and VHF Contest committees
    will no longer accept multioperator contest entries. The ban, in
    accordance with UK social distancing policies, is in effect until the
    end of June and applies to all RSGB-sponsored contests. Single-operator
    entries from shared stations also will not be accepted, unless the
    station is being shared by family members at the same address. The HF
    Contest Committee has canceled the RSGB HF NFD (Field Day) for 2020,
    but is okaying portable operation by single operators, "because of the
    potential mental health benefits associated with engaging in hobbies,
    as well as the lack of person-to-person contact in normal
    single-operator contesting." RSGB is encouraging all to follow UK
    government guidelines regarding social distancing and unnecessary
    travel and will decide in early June if the VHF NFD, the IOTA Contest,
    and SSB NFD events can go ahead as planned.

    Sean Kutzko, KX9X, is AMSAT's new Volunteer Coordinator. AMSAT
    President Clayton Coleman, W5PFG, announced the appointment this week.
    Licensed since 1982, Kutzko served for 10 years on the ARRL
    Headquarters staff as Contest Branch Manager and as Media and Public
    Relations Manager. "It's an honor to be able to volunteer for AMSAT,"
    Kutzko said. "AMSAT is a great organization and helping find good
    volunteers who are willing to help all areas of AMSAT's growth and
    development is the least I could do for the organization that has given
    me a lot of enjoyment and technical skill." An active HF and VHF
    contester, DXer, and backpack QRP enthusiast, Kutzko started working
    satellites in 2011. He's written instructional articles on satellite
    operating for the AMSAT website and for QST, and he blogs regularly on
    satellite topics on DX Engineering's On All Bands. -- Thanks to AMSAT
    News Service

    Harvard University President Lawrence Bacow, KA1FZQ, and his wife ele
    have tested positive for COVID-19. "We started experiencing symptoms on
    Sunday -- first coughs, then fevers, chills, and muscle aches -- and
    contacted our doctors on Monday," Bacow related in a March 10 message
    to the Harvard University community. "We were tested yesterday and just
    received the results a few minutes ago. We wanted to share this news
    with all of you as soon as possible." Bacow said neither he nor his
    wife knows how they contracted the virus and have been working from
    home and limiting contact with others. "This virus can lay anyone low,"
    Bacow added. "We all need to be vigilant and keep following guidelines
    to limit our contact with others."

    President Donald Trump has nominated FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly
    for another 5-year term on the Commission. The nomination was sent to
    the US Senate on March 18. O'Rielly was initially appointed to the FCC
    in 2013 by President Barack Obama. "During my tenure at the Commission,
    I have advocated for preserving and advancing American free market
    principles to develop common sense regulation and eliminate unnecessary
    rules that hurt consumers," O'Rielly said in a statement, expressing
    appreciation to President Trump. If the Senate confirms O'Rielly's
    nomination, the new term would date retroactively to last July and end
    in 2024.

    The FCC will hold its March 31 open meeting by teleconference. "Due to
    the current COVID-19 pandemic and related agency telework and
    headquarters access policies, this meeting will be in a wholly
    electronic format and will be open to the public on the internet via
    live feed from the FCC web page and on the FCC YouTube channel," the
    Commission announced this week. Agenda items are expected to be voted
    on circulation prior to the meeting. Live audio and video and open
    captioning will be provided on the video as well as a text only version
    on the FCC website.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Note: Many conventions and hamfests have been canceled or postponed due
    to the coronavirus pandemic. Check the calendar of canceled events on
    the ARRL website.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    * May 9 - MicroHAMS Digital Conference 2020, Woodinville, Washington

    * June 6 -- Georgia State Convention, Marietta, Georgia
    * June 6 - 7 -- Northwestern Division Convention, Seaside, Oregon
    * June 6 - 7 -- Western Pennsylvania Section Convention, Prospect,
    Pennsylvania
    * June 12 - 13 -- Ham-Com, Plano, Texas
    * June 20 -- Tennessee State Convention, Knoxville, Tennessee

    Find conventions and hamfests in your area.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

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    Amateur Radio News and Information.

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    --- SendMsg/2

    --- Squish/386 v1.11
    * Origin: Outpost BBS * Limestone, TN, USA (1:18/200)
  • From Sean Dennis@1:18/200 to All on Fri Apr 3 09:05:02 2020
    The ARRL Letter
    April 2, 2020

    * FCC Grants Temporary Emergency Authority to WISPs Operating in 5.8
    GHz Band
    * HamSCI 2020 Workshop Successfully Reworked as a Virtual Event
    * ARRL Field Day 2020 -- A Time to apt
    * ARRL Podcasts Schedule
    * Canceled Ohio ARES State Conference Morphs into Statewide
    Communication Exercise
    * Contest Entry Features Multiple Operator Locations and Remote
    Transmitter-Receiver Site
    * To All ARRL Members and ARRL VEC Accredited Volunteer Examiners
    * The K7RA Solar Update
    * Just Ahead in Radiosport
    * Western Pennsylvania ARES Group Conducts District-Wide Simplex
    Drill
    * COVID-19 Affects Space Station Crew Transition
    * In Brief...
    * Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    COVID-19 Impact & News

    Find the latest news and information on the impact of the coronavirus
    pandemic to ARRL members and our global amateur radio community.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    FCC Grants Temporary Emergency Authority to WISPs Operating in 5.8 GHz
    Band

    The FCC has granted temporary permission to wireless internet service
    providers (WISPs) in rural portions of 29 states and the US Virgin
    Islands to operate in the 5.8 GHz band (5.850 - 5.895 GHz). The
    authorization, to help meet the temporary surge in demand for
    residential fixed broadband services during the COVID-19 pandemic, was
    one of multiple waivers issued in the past week that grant temporary
    access to a variety of bands in response to the uptick in residential
    broadband demand.

    The 5.8 GHz grants were effective on March 26. Each grant is for 60
    days, provided individual WISPs file STA applications within 10 days of
    March 26. Amateur radio shares this spectrum on a secondary basis with
    Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC) systems and industrial,
    scientific, and medical (ISM) applications, and that status remains
    unchanged.

    "[E]ach applicant is independently responsible for complying with the
    conditions of its grant," the FCC's Keith D. Harper, Associate Chief of
    the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau's Mobility Division, wrote in
    granting the request. "Applicants are advised that this includes
    ensuring proper protection of incumbents in the 5.8 GHz band." The
    Commission noted that WISPs are responsible for ensuring that they do
    not cause interference to existing licensees.

    According to the request, each of the WISPs provides fixed wireless
    broadband service in rural areas, primarily relying on unlicensed
    spectrum for last-mile connections to end users. "Many of the WISPs'
    customers have no other alternative to terrestrial broadband services,"
    the request said.

    The Commission's emergency grant explicitly requires that the WISP
    operations be conducted on a non-interference basis. Read more.
    HamSCI 2020 Workshop Successfully Reworked as a Virtual Event

    Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the March 20 - 21 HamSCI Workshop
    went on as scheduled, moving to a free, all-digital webinar workshop.
    The theme of the 2020 workshop was "The Auroral Connection -- How does
    the aurora affect amateur radio, and what can we learn about the aurora
    from radio techniques?" Organizer and

    Nathaniel Frissell, W2NAF,
    moderated the online
    conference.

    University of Scranton professor Nathaniel Frissell, W2NAF, told ARRL
    that he was quite happy with the outcome, after the in-person workshop
    had to be called off as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

    "In some ways, it was good for us," Frissell said. "We actually got
    many more participants than had we just held it in person."
    Expectations for the live event were for about 100 participants.
    Online, Zoom -- the webinar platform used for the workshop -- reported
    290 unique logins from 24 countries. After cancellation of the
    in-person workshop, Frissell had to scramble to make the virtual event
    a reality.

    "I had the webinar running in practice mode for about 2 or 3 days
    before the workshop, and I let presenters log in whenever they wanted
    to test things out," Frissell said.

    Another hurdle to overcome was figuring out how to convert poster
    presentations to electronic format. "The Aurorasaurus group really
    helped out with that," Frissell said, noting that Aurorasaurus Project
    manager Laura Brandt came up with a method for presenting the posters
    electronically and made sure the poster session ran smoothly.

    In a blog post, Brandt called the workshop "the first of its kind in
    heliophysics." The Aurorasaurus Project theme is "Reporting Auroras
    from the Ground Up."

    "The annual HamSCI Workshop provided the perfect opportunity to
    introduce citizen scientists and scientists from the aurora and ham
    radio communities and build connections for future collaboration,"

    Phil Erickson, W1PJE,
    of MIT's Haystack
    Observatory was among
    the presenters and
    participants.

    Brandt said. "Both aurora and ham radio citizen scientists work closely
    with the Earth's atmosphere and ionosphere, but while aurora folks tend
    to think about how what we see reveals aspects of the ionosphere, ham
    radio operators tend to think about what radio waves can tell us about
    the ionosphere."

    Oral presentations were delivered as originally scheduled and in the
    same format as if they were being delivered at the in-person workshop.

    The workshop served as a team meeting for the HamSCI Personal Space
    Weather Station project that's funded by a National Science Foundation
    (NSF) grant to Frissell as its principal investigator. The project
    seeks to harness the power of a network of radio amateurs to better
    understand and measure the effects of weather in the upper levels of
    Earth's atmosphere.

    Workshop presentations are being archived. Read more.

    ARRL Field Day 2020 -- A Time to apt

    Many individuals and groups organizing events for ARRL Field Day 2020
    have been contacting ARRL for guidance on how to adapt their planned
    activities in this unprecedented time of social distancing and
    uncertainty.

    "Due to the unique situation presented this year, this can be an
    opportunity for you, your club, or your group to try something new,"
    ARRL Contest Manager Paul Bourque, N1SFE, said. "Field Day isn't about
    doing things the same way year after year. Use this year to develop and
    employ a new approach that is in line with the current circumstances."

    Social distancing and state and local requirements very likely will
    impact just how -- and even whether -- you are able to participate in
    Field Day this year. ARRL continues monitoring the coronavirus
    situation, paying close attention to information and guidance offered
    by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If social
    distancing means that Class A with a 30-member team set up in a city
    park won't work this year, then it's time for a Plan B. Part of the
    Field Day concept has always been adapting your operation to the
    situation at hand. At its heart, Field Day is an emergency
    communication demonstration. Field Day rules are flexible enough to
    allow individuals and groups to adjust their participation and
    strategies in a way that still addresses their needs while being fun.
    Some possibilities include:
    * Encouraging club members to operate from their home stations on
    emergency power (Class E).
    * Using the club's repeater as a means for individual participants to
    keep in touch during the event.
    * Setting up a portable station in the backyard with a temporary
    antenna for family members interested in operating Field Day, who
    are now unable to participate as part of a larger group.

    One big impact this year will be a decline in public visibility and any
    interaction with the visitors. Prudence may dictate dispensing with the
    ham radio PR table to attract passersby, should you set up in a more
    public location. It's okay not to score all the bonus points you may
    have attempted in the past. Local and served agency officials may be
    unwilling to visit, which is understandable under the circumstances. Do
    be sure to reach out to them as part of your preparations and remind
    them that you look forward to continuing your working relationship with
    them in the future.

    The impact will differ from place to place, so ARRL recommends that all
    amateur radio clubs participating in Field Day stay in regular contact
    with local or state public health officials for their advice and
    guidance on hosting Field Day activities.

    "With any emergency preparedness exercise, it's not about adapting the
    situation to your operation; it's about adapting your operation to the
    situation that presents itself," Bourque said. "Try something
    different." Read more. -- Thanks to Paul Bourque, N1SFE, and Dan
    Henderson, N1ND
    ARRL Podcasts Schedule

    The latest (March 12) episode of the On the Air podcast focuses on how
    to calculate feed line loss, real-world examples of how digital and
    analog FM transceivers handle weak signals, and an interview with Rob
    Macedo, KD1CY, Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator
    and SKYWARN Coordinator for the National Weather Service Boston/Norton
    office. Rob offers information about how hams can get involved with
    SKYWARN.

    The latest episode of the Eclectic Tech podcast (Episode 4) includes an
    interview with Eric Knight, KB1EHE, updating the RF-based Alzheimer's
    therapy featured in QST, and an interview with Robert Dixon, W8ERD,
    about the "Wow!" signal and SETI. Dixon was the Big Ear project
    director when the Wow! signal was received.

    Both podcasts are available on iTunes (iOS) and Stitcher (Android), as
    well as on Blubrry -- On the Air | Eclectic Tech.

    Canceled Ohio ARES State Conference Morphs into Statewide Communication
    Exercise

    Ohio Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) canceled the Ohio ARES
    State Conference set for April 4 due to the coronavirus pandemic and
    repurposed the date for a statewide communication exercise, with an
    emphasis on communicating from home.

    "Ohio has a high-profile station at the state Emergency Operations
    Center (EOC), with regular weekly EOC nets," ARES Section Emergency
    Coordinator Stan Broadway, N8BHL, said. "But with the national emphasis
    on staying home, we turned the vacated day into a 2-hour series of nets
    designed to have amateur operators check in using their home stations."

    The exercise was the brainchild of Assistant SEC Tim Price, K8WFL, who
    suggested it would be a great way to showcase amateur radio's
    capabilities for state and community leaders. The Ohio HF Emergency Net
    will take check-ins on 40 and 80 meters (SSB), with the Ohio Digital
    Emergency Net (OHDEN) operating on 80 meters. Then, around 1 PM ET, a
    linked digital radio system will be brought into play, using DMR's Ohio
    talk group linked to the Fusion "Ohio Link" group. Broadway said
    stations will simply check in; no traffic will be handled. "It's just
    designed to prove we can communicate from home, while locked down, and
    still get the job done," he told ARRL.

    "This is the same network topology used for the Ohio Watch Desk
    Project, providing statewide reporting during such events as the
    Memorial Day tornado outbreak last spring," Broadway said. The reports
    are fed directly to the watch desk at Ohio's state EOC, to enhance
    situational awareness for state emergency managers. "We plan to video
    an operator on the State House steps, talking statewide using a small
    handheld," Broadway said. "This demonstration can be used to enhance
    our discussion of amateur radio with local and state officials."

    Broadway said HF can be problematic most of the time if storms are
    moving across, producing static, and digital modes fill in the gap.
    Read more. -- Thanks to Stan Broadway, N8BHL

    Contest Entry Features Multiple Operator Locations and Remote
    Transmitter-Receiver Site

    Restrictions on gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic recently
    prompted a novel approach to multioperator/multi-transmitter operation.
    The WW2DX entry in the CQ World Wide WPX SSB Contest over the March 28
    - 29 weekend featured 10 operators, each at separate locations around
    the US and in Europe, all operating via a

    Connor Black, W4IPC.

    single remote site on the coast of eastern Maine. WW2DX entered in the
    Multioperator, High Power category, racking up a claimed score of
    32,026,176 points. NR6O operated from the west coast with a smaller
    complement of remote operators in the Multioperator, High Power
    category.

    "It was so much fun to work this contest," one of the WW2DX operators,
    17-year-old Connor Black, W4IPC, said. "This was the most fun I've had
    in a contest ever. We had no equipment failures and pulled off,
    hopefully, a new US record."

    In soapbox comments on the 3830scores.com website, Lee Imber, WW2DX,
    expressed his belief that this year's contest would be viewed as a
    turning point in multioperator contesting. Participants had nothing but
    a web browser and a USB headset to operate, with the closest team
    partner some 625 miles away. "No radio, no hardware, no traveling, and
    no external logger," he noted.

    What the WW2DX operators saw.

    Team members brainstormed various configurations. Rock Schrock, WW1X,
    custom-engineered the requisite software. In addition to Black, the
    team included a few other young -- but experienced -- contesters:
    13-year-old Charles Hoppe, AA4LS; 17-year-old Mason Matrazzo, KM4SII,
    and 21-year-old Tucker McGuire, W4FS. The more senior team members were
    K1LZ, K3JO, W1ADI, W2RE, WW1X, and WW2DX.

    "We also used Slack and created a channel for the team to stay
    connected over the weekend, and this ended up being half the fun,"
    Imber said. Another feature included the "multi bell," which would
    chime whenever a new multiplier was logged. He said it was "awesome
    having seasoned pro operators sharing and mentoring these young
    contesters."

    "The world is experiencing something on a whole new level," he
    observed. Read more.

    To All ARRL Members and ARRL VEC Accredited Volunteer Examiners

    We know many examiners have canceled amateur radio license exam
    sessions to meet the requirements and recommendations of national and
    local government and of health officials. The health and safety of
    examinees and our Volunteer Examiners (VEs) is first and foremost in
    any decision-making process. The ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator
    (VEC) does not offer video-supervised online amateur radio licensing
    exams at the present time. We are aware, however, that some VE teams
    are exploring alternative formats on a local basis. Please use ARRL's
    License Exam Search to find scheduled exam sessions in your area and
    verify with the local exam team that the session is still being held.

    The ARRL VEC is continuing to process license examination materials
    from VEs who have completed exam sessions, although some delays may
    occur under the circumstances. The ARRL VEC electronically forwards all
    required data to the FCC for qualified examinees.

    We understand that some examination candidates are continuing their
    studies toward new amateur radio licenses and license upgrades. We also
    know some will be frustrated that, at this time, the ARRL VEC does not
    offer online licensing exams. Amateur radio is not alone in this
    challenge, though.

    While each of us continues to respond to the immediate evolving crisis,
    we also know that we must keep an eye on the future. Throughout its
    decades of service, the VEC system has served the FCC as a shining
    example of the successes of a privatized system. The ARRL VEC and our
    VEs are recognized throughout the Amateur Radio Service for our
    integrity and efficiency. apting our all-volunteer license
    examination administration will be a challenge, but it's a challenge we
    are committed to undertake in order to advance the program and improve
    service.

    While we face unprecedented challenges, opportunities also await. We
    are grateful to support radio amateurs in our common pursuit of skill,
    service, and discovery. ARRL and the ARRL VEC remain steadfast in
    serving the amateur radio community. We will provide updates as they
    become available.
    The K7RA Solar Update

    Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, reports: A new sunspot appeared on the last
    day in March and the first day in April, with daily sunspot numbers of
    12 and 13, respectively. Prior to this, no sunspots had been seen since
    earlier in March, when daily sunspot numbers were 13 and 12, on March 8
    - 9.

    Average daily solar flux this week (March 26 - April 1) declined from
    71.1 to 69.4. Average daily geomagnetic indicators were identical to
    the previous week, with planetary A index at 7.7 and middle latitude A
    index at 5.9.

    Predicted solar flux for the next 45 days is 70 on April 2 - 7; 69, 68,
    and 68 on April 8 - 10; 70 on April 11 - 22; 68 on April 23 - May 7,
    and 70 on May 8 - 16.

    Predicted planetary A index is 8 on April 2 - 3; 5 on April 4 - 14; 10
    on April 15; 8 on April 16 - 19; 5 on April 20 - 25; 12 on April 26 -
    27; 8 on April 28 - 29; 5 on April 30 - May 11; 10 on May 12, and 8 on
    May 13 - 16.

    Sunspot numbers for March 26 - April 1 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 12, and 13,
    with a mean of 0. The 10.7-centimeter flux was 70.2, 69.4, 69.2, 68.8,
    69.3, 69.9, and 69.2, with a mean of 71.1. Estimated planetary A
    indices were 5, 5, 5, 7, 11, 15, and 6, with a mean of 7.7. Middle
    latitude A index was 5, 4, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 4, with a mean of 5.9.

    A comprehensive K7RA Solar Update is posted Fridays on the ARRL
    website. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the
    ARRL Technical Information Service, read "What the Numbers Mean...,"
    and check out K9LA's Propagation Page.

    A propagation bulletin archive is available. Monthly charts offer
    propagation projections between the US and a dozen DX locations.

    Share your reports and observations.

    Just Ahead in Radiosport
    * April 4 -- LZ Open 40-Meter Sprint Contest (CW)
    * April 4 - 5 -- PODXS 070 Club PSK 31 Flavors Contest
    * April 4 - 5 -- Nebraska QSO Party (CW, phone, digital)
    * April 4 - 5 -- Louisiana QSO Party (CW, phone, digital)
    * April 4 - 5 -- Mississippi QSO Party (CW, phone, digital)
    * April 4 - 5 -- Missouri QSO Party (CW, phone, digital)
    * April 4 - 5 -- Florida State Parks on the Air (CW, phone, digital)
    * April 4 - 5 -- SP DX Contest (CW, phone)
    * April 4 - 5 -- EA RTTY Contest
    * April 5 -- North American SSB Sprint
    * April 5 -- RSGB RoLo SSB
    * April 6 - 12 -- All IQRP Quarterly Marathon (CW, phone, digital)
    * April 6 -- RSGB 80-Meter Club Championship, CW
    * April 6 -- 144 MHz Spring Sprint (CW, phone)
    * April 7 -- ARS Spartan Sprint (CW)

    See the ARRL Contest Calendar for more information. For in-depth
    reporting on amateur radio contesting, subscribe to The ARRL Contest
    Update via your ARRL member profile email preferences.
    Western Pennsylvania ARES Group Conducts District-Wide Simplex Drill

    Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) Western Pennsylvania Southwest
    District, which includes Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette,
    Greene, Indiana, Washington, and Westmoreland counties, conducted a
    district-wide simplex practice drill on March 21. The exercise lasted
    about 4 hours, with all participants meeting on their local ARES county
    repeaters. Each county Emergency Coordinator served as net control
    stations, and all stations kept logs, which were to be sent to their
    local Emergency Coordinator for forwarding to the District Emergency
    Coordinator.

    All stations were asked to stay on their county simplex frequency for
    at least 15 minutes before going to other county simplex frequencies.
    After checking in on the repeater, all stations switched to their
    county-assigned simplex frequencies, to test the capabilities of
    operators and stations and their simplex operating range. In all, 162
    operators participated in the drill.

    "We have received so many great comments about the drill that I plan on
    running it again sometime after the Simulated Emergency Test (SET)
    drill on April 4," Western Pennsylvania Southwest District Emergency
    Coordinator Terry Nemitz, KA3UTD, said. "I also heard a lot of comments
    about operators wanting to improve their stations. A good thing."
    COVID-19 Affects Space Station Crew Transition

    International Space Station (ISS) Expedition 62 crew is readying its
    Soyuz MS-15 vehicle for an April 17 departure back to Earth. Expedition
    62 members are NASA Flight Engineer Jessica Meir; Flight Engineer
    Andrew Morgan, KI5AAA, and Commander Oleg Skripochka, RA0LDJ. The
    Expedition 63 crew members who are to replace them are nearing an April
    9 launch aboard the Soyuz MS-16 vehicle.

    NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy, KF5KDR, and Roscosmos cosmonauts Anatoly
    Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner arrived this week at the Baikonur Cosmodrome
    in Kazakhstan for final training. The

    (L - R) NASA astronaut Chris
    Cassidy, KF5KDR, Russian Soyuz
    commander Anatoly Ivanishin, and
    flight engineer Ivan Vagner during
    training in Star City, Russia.
    [Andrey Shelepin/Gagarin Cosmonaut
    Training Center, photo]

    Expedition 63 trio is scheduled to live aboard the station for a little
    longer than 6 months, with Cassidy as commander. Because of travel
    limitations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cassidy's family will watch
    from home when he blasts off on April 9. Launch day at Baikonur is
    usually a festive affair.

    "But it'll be completely quiet," Cassidy said in a Spaceflight Now
    satellite interview from Star City, Russia. "There won't be anybody
    there. A NASA protocol has long been in place to prevent astronauts
    from carrying disease microbes into space." NASA said it "will continue
    to evaluate and augment this plan, in coordination with its
    international and commercial partners," if needed.

    Russia's state space corporation Roscosmos has shut down all media
    activity surrounding the Soyuz launch, barring journalists from
    covering the mission in person. Russia will still livestream the
    launch; NASA typically carries all of its crewed launches online via
    its NASA TV channel.

    SpaceX will launch its Crew Dragon capsule with NASA astronauts Bob
    Behnken, KE5GGX, and Doug Hurley aboard the spacecraft, "no earlier
    than mid-to-late May," NASA said, marking the first crew launch from
    the US since 2011. This is the final flight test of the system before
    SpaceX is certified to carry out operational crew flights to and from
    the ISS for NASA.

    Pending the outcome of the demonstration test, SpaceX hopes to send its
    first operational crew of astronauts to the ISS aboard its Crew Dragon
    capsule later this year. Read more. -- Thanks to NASA, AMSAT News
    Service
    In Brief...

    Former ARRL DXCC Manager Don Search, W3AZD, of Davie, Florida, died on
    March 26. Search was widely known throughout the DXing community and
    was a fixture at many hamfests and conventions, including the Dayton
    Hamvention^(R), where he checked cards for years. An ARRL Life Member,
    he was 80. A skillful DXer, Search was on the DXCC Honor Roll with 378
    entities confirmed on phone. He and his partner Hope Smith, WB3ANE,
    were early members of the National Capitol DX Association (NCDXA) --
    traveling from Florida to attend monthly meetings as recently as 2018.
    He also belonged to the Potomac Valley Radio Club (PVRC). According to
    reports, Search had struggled with health issues related to a fall last
    December in which he struck his head. Search worked as an electronics
    technician in Maryland before serving for about 15 years as ARRL DXCC
    Manager from the late 1970s until the early 1990s.

    USA Amateur Radio Direction Finding Championships Canceled The ARRL
    ARDF Committee has made the difficult decision to cancel the 20th USA
    ARDF Championships, which were set to be held this summer. Contact the
    ARRL ARDF Committee for more information on ARDF and on attending,
    participating in, or hosting ARDF competitions. ARDF participants do
    not need an amateur radio license. For more information on Amateur
    Radio Direction Finding, visit the Homing In website of Joe Moell,
    K0OV. -- Thanks to USA ARDF Co-Coordinator Charles Scharlau, NZ0I

    International Marconi Day (IMD) ham radio operating event has been
    canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. The annual 24-hour
    amateur radio event celebrates the birth of Marconi on April 25, 1874.
    Sponsored by the Cornish Radio Amateur Club, which operates as GB4IMD,
    International Marconi Day features participating stations operating at
    sites that have a personal connection to Marconi.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions

    Note: Many conventions and hamfests have been canceled or postponed due
    to the coronavirus pandemic. Check the calendar of canceled events on
    the ARRL website.
    * May 9 - MicroHAMS Digital Conference 2020, Woodinville, Washington
    * June 6 -- Georgia State Convention, Marietta, Georgia
    * June 6 - 7 -- Northwestern Division Convention, Seaside, Oregon
    * June 6 - 7 -- Western Pennsylvania Section Convention, Prospect,
    Pennsylvania
    * June 12 - 13 -- Ham-Com, Plano, Texas
    * June 20 -- Tennessee State Convention, Knoxville, Tennessee

    Find conventions and hamfests in your area.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    ARRL -- Your One-Stop Resource for
    Amateur Radio News and Information.

    .

    .
    * Join or Renew Today! ARRL membership includes QST, amateur radio's
    most popular and informative journal, and On the Air, a new
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    * Listen to ARRL Audio News, available every Friday.

    Subscribe to...
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    articles by top contesters, letters, hints, statistics, scores, NA
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    Copyright (c) 2020 American Radio Relay League, Incorporated. Use and
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    --- SendMsg/2

    --- Squish/386 v1.11
    * Origin: Outpost BBS * Limestone, TN, USA (1:18/200)
  • From Sean Dennis@1:18/200 to All on Fri Apr 10 09:05:18 2020
    The ARRL Letter
    April 9, 2020

    * World Amateur Radio Day on April 18 Celebrates 95th Anniversary of
    the IARU
    * COVID-19 Guidelines Could Affect Some IARU HF World Championship
    Participation
    * Hamvention QSO Party Set for Saturday, May 16
    * ARRL Podcasts Schedule
    * New TQSL Version 2.5.2 Provides Better LoTW Rover Support, Other
    Improvements
    * Circuit Board for Bare-Bones Ventilator Moves Toward Production
    with Radio Amateurs' Help
    * The K7RA Solar Update
    * Just Ahead in Radiosport
    * Several Countries Authorize COVID-19 visory Suffixes
    * In Brief...
    * Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions
    World Amateur Radio Day on April 18 Celebrates 95th Anniversary of the
    IARU

    Saturday, April 18, is World Amateur Radio Day (WARD), this year
    marking the 95th anniversary of the International Amateur Radio Union
    (IARU). Around the world, amateur radio special event stations -- most
    sponsored by IARU member-societies -- will mark the event on the air,
    starting on April 18 at 0000 UTC and continuing until April 19 at 0000,
    honing skills and capabilities while enjoying global friendship with
    other amateurs worldwide. The theme for WARD is "Celebrating Amateur
    Radio's Contribution to Society." IARU President Tim Ellam,
    VE6SH/G4HUA, notes that the COVID-19 pandemic casts the event in a
    different light than in years past.

    "A few short weeks ago, many of us could not imagine the levels of
    isolation that we are now dealing with and the sacrifices of many on
    the front lines of the pandemic," Ellam said. "As we have done in past
    challenges to our society, amateur radio will play a key part in
    keeping people connected and assisting those who need support."

    Ellam said he's coming off his own 14-day isolation after returning
    from overseas. "I am touched by the kindness of strangers who assisted
    me when I was unable to leave my house," he said. "It strikes me
    amateur radio operators, who give so much during these times of crisis
    are not limited to assisting over the air. Amateurs are true
    volunteers, and I would encourage everyone to assist in the community
    as they are able to."

    On April 18, 1925, the IARU was formed in Paris, with ARRL cofounder
    Hiram Percy Maxim, 1AW, in attendance. Radio amateurs were the first to
    discover that shortwave spectrum could support worldwide propagation,
    and in the rush to use these shorter wavelengths, amateur radio found
    itself "in grave danger of being pushed aside," as IARU history puts
    it. Two years later, at the International Radiotelegraph Conference,
    amateur radio gained allocations still recognized todayâ**--â**160, 80,
    40, 20, and 10 meters. From an initial 25 countries, the IARU has grown
    to include 160 member-societies in three regions.

    How to Participate
    * Get on the air! WARD events are listed on the WARD web page. To
    list a World Amateur Radio Day event, contact IARU Secretary David
    Sumner, K1ZZ.
    * Promote your personal World Amateur Radio Day activity on social
    media by using the hashtag #WorldAmateurRadioDay on Twitter and
    Facebook.
    * Create and hold a special net on World Amateur Radio Day to draw
    attention to the event and allow hams to start talking about our
    hobby.
    * Spread the word. If you're responsible for club publicity, send a
    press release and do public relations outreach to highlight the
    event. Use the poster and flyer that IARU provides in publicizing
    the event, amateur radio, and your group or club.

    World Amateur Radio Day is not a contest but an opportunity to talk
    about the value of amateur radio to the public and our fellow amateurs.
    It is also a great opportunity to talk about your club and amateur
    radio in local media.

    In this time of social isolation, amateur radio continues to remain
    relevant in bringing people together through radio while providing
    essential communication in the service of communities.

    "My wish for this World Amateur Radio Day is for everyone to stay safe,
    follow the advice of medical professionals, and use amateur radio and
    your skills to help us through this crisis," Ellam said.
    COVID-19 Guidelines Could Affect Some IARU HF World Championship
    Participation

    The IARU HF World Championship is just over 2 months away -- July 11 -
    12. The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) says that it's
    essential to take the global COVID-19 pandemic into account when
    planning participation, including by IARU member-society Headquarters
    (HQ) station teams. Multioperator and IARU member-society HQ station
    operations must adhere strictly to the regulations and
    physical-distancing guidelines issued by the responsible health
    authorities and the World Health Organization in effect at the time of
    the event -- even if observing those guidelines is not legally required
    at their locations. This requirement also applies to single-operator
    stations, and especially to those hosting guest operators.

    "This may reduce participation, but it is vital that the IARU, its
    member-societies, and individual radio amateurs behave as responsible
    members of the global community," the IARU said. "Radio amateurs should
    always look for opportunities to address communications challenges
    through the application of technology."

    The IARU points out that a growing number of stations, including
    multioperator stations, can be operated remotely, and it encourages
    their participation in the HF World Championship wherever national
    regulations permit.

    The objective of the IARU HF World Championship is "to support amateur
    self-training in radiocommunications including improving amateur
    operating skills, conducting technical investigations, and
    intercommunicating with other amateurs around the world, especially
    IARU member-society headquarters stations." The event takes place on
    160, 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10 meters.

    The special rules governing IARU member-society HQ stations allow
    multiple sites to be used, again subject to national regulations. HQ
    stations will still be able to participate, but possibly not at their
    usual level.

    Plans are being developed for IARU Headquarters station NU1AW to be
    operated entirely remotely. W1AW will also be on the air as an HQ
    station, although arrangements are still being finalized.

    Hamvention QSO Party Set for Saturday, May 16

    The Hamvention QSO Party, a sort of virtual Dayton Hamvention^A(R),
    will take place on the HF bands on May 16, which would be the Saturday
    of the now-canceled event.

    "Let's celebrate the many years we have all had at the Great Gathering
    we call Hamvention," said an announcement over the signatures of Tim
    Duffy, K3LR, and Michael Kalter, W8CI. "We also want to remember Ron
    Moorefield, W8ILC, who never missed a Hamvention and contributed to our
    club until his recent death. Let's light up the airwaves with our
    remembrances of Hamventions of the past! See you on the air!"

    The Hamvention QSO Party will be a 12-hour event, from 1200 UTC until
    2400 UTC on May 16. Operate CW or SSB on 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10
    meters, exchanging signal reports and the first year you attended
    Hamvention. If you have never attended Hamvention, send "2020."

    Designated members of Hamvention's host, the Dayton Amateur Radio
    Association (DARA), will activate DARA's W8BI. Participants can add 10
    points for each band/mode contact with W8BI (12 available).

    Post scores (number of contacts) to 3830scores.com within 5 days of the
    event. An online certificate will be available to print. No logs will
    be collected.

    N1MM Logger+ has provided a user-defined contest module for the event.
    More information is on the N1MM Logger+ website.
    ARRL Podcasts Schedule

    The latest episode of the On the Air podcast (Episode 4) focuses how to
    create a family emergency communications plan and includes an interview
    with Dino Papas, KL0S, about attaching coaxial connectors with crimping
    tools.

    The latest episode of the Eclectic Tech podcast (Episode 5) includes an
    interview with ARRL Laboratory Manager Ed Hare, W1RFI, about wireless
    power transfer technology, as well as a discussion of digital meteor
    scatter and an interview with Michael Lavelle, K6ML, about the new
    distance record at 122 GHz.

    The On the Air and Eclectic Tech podcasts are sponsored by Icom.

    Both podcasts are available on iTunes (iOS) and Stitcher (Android) as
    well as on Blubrry -- On the Air | Eclectic Tech.

    New TQSL Version 2.5.2 Provides Better LoTW Rover Support, Other
    Improvements

    The latest version of TrustedQSL (TQSL), version 2.5.2, offers improved
    Logbook of The World (LoTW) support for operations from several
    locations, as well as the ability to detect uploads that contain
    incorrect location data. The primary new feature in TQSL 2.5.2 allows
    logging programs, in conjunction with TQSL, to avoid incorrect contact
    uploads, while adding mechanisms to allow easy uploading of logs for
    roving stations. LoTW had required rovers to identify each location
    used as a separate location in TQSL. The new version of TQSL allows
    these operations to be handled much more smoothly by using information
    from the station's logging program.

    When a log is signed by TQSL, the station details -- call sign, DXCC
    entity, grid square, and other location details provided by the
    selected station location (and call sign certificate) -- are compared
    with the details in the log. If the US state and station location in a
    log do not agree, TQSL 2.5.2 will reject the contact, detecting errors
    in instances when an incorrect station location has been chosen. This
    feature will necessitate changes in many logging programs, because it
    requires that the log provide station details previously not used by
    TQSL. Once a logging program supplies these (MY_STATE, MY_DXCC,
    MY_CQ_ZONE, etc.), then TQSL will validate them against the log.
    Currently, Cabrillo logs use the CALLSIGN field to verify that the
    contacts are for the correct call sign.

    Optionally, a station performing roaming operations (e.g., from
    multiple grid squares) can choose to have TQSL assume that the log is
    correct. When call sign or home station are provided with the log, TQSL
    will automatically update the details on the upload. Select "Override
    Station Location with QTH Details from your Log" on the "Log Handling"
    preference page to enable this feature.

    This release also includes an update to the most recent TQSL
    configuration file. -- Thanks to Rick Murphy, K1MU
    Circuit Board for Bare-Bones Ventilator Moves Toward Production with
    Radio Amateurs' Help

    Radio amateurs continue to play key roles in developing the electronic
    control system for an open-source/architecture, modular, low-cost human
    patient ventilator. The device itself was designed by researcher Sem
    Lampotang and his team at University of Florida Health -- the school's
    academic health center -- using such commonly available components as
    PVC pipe and lawn-sprinkler valves. The idea is to create a bare-bones
    ventilator that could serve in the event of a ventilator shortage.

    "The way I looked at it is, if you're going to run out of ventilators,
    then we're not even trying to reproduce the sophisticated ventilators
    out there," Lampotang said. "If we run out, you have to decide who gets
    one and who doesn't. How do you decide that? The power of our approach
    is that every well-intentioned volunteer who has access to Home Depot,
    Ace, Lowe's, or their equivalent worldwide can build one."

    His team is working on adding safety features to meet regulatory
    guidelines, then they will run engineering tests to determine safety,
    accuracy, and endurance of the machine, which can be built for as
    little as $125 to $250.

    Dr. Gordon Gibby, KX4Z -- a retired associate professor of
    anesthesiology at the University of Florida and an electrical engineer
    -- is among those involved in the project, developing control-system
    prototypes. He reports that a trial printed circuit board is being
    created, populated, and tested prior to large-scale fabrication. "This
    should lead to a documented open-source design that can be replicated
    or

    Dr. Gordon Gibby, KX4Z.
    [University of Florida
    photo]

    improved upon by any interested manufacturer," Gibby said, noting that
    the board could be built anywhere in the world, based on the Arduino
    Nano microcontroller.

    "A huge amount of work has gone on in the design of the circuit
    boards," Gibby told ARRL. "We have at least two, maybe three designs,
    ready for fabrication." Current design specifications and a video of
    prototypes have been posted online. The Arduino-based control software
    will set the respiratory rate and other key parameters in treating
    critically ill coronavirus victims. Other radio amateurs involved in
    the control system aspect of the project include Jack Purdum, W8TEE,
    and uBITX transceiver maker Ashhar Farhan, VU2ESE.

    Using a Groups.io forum, up to 140 volunteers have been studying or
    working to push the project to completion. Software is being created by
    multiple volunteers, with amateur radio operators involved in that
    phase as well.

    The ventilator's valves will precisely time the flow of compressed
    oxygen into a patient with lungs weakened by viral pneumonia in order
    to extend life and allow time for the body to clear the infection. Read
    more.

    The K7RA Solar Update

    Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, reports: After 5 days of new Solar Cycle 25
    sunspot activity, sunspots vanished. The average daily sunspot number
    rose from 3.6 last week to 5.1 this time. The average daily sunspot
    number over the days sunspots were visible -- March 31 - April 4 -- was
    12.2, but these observations straddle two reporting weeks.

    Average daily solar flux rose from 69.4 to 70.2. Geomagnetic indicators
    remain quiet, with the average planetary A index declining from 7.7 to
    6.6, and the average mid-latitude A index slipping from 5.9 to 5.3.

    Predicted solar flux for the next 45 days is 70 on April 9 - 13; 68 on
    April 14 - 23; 70 on April 24 - May 7; 68 on May 8 - 20, and 70 on May
    21 - 23.

    Predicted planetary A index is 5, 8, and 8 on April 9 - 11; 5 on April
    12 - 14; 10 on April 15; 8 on April 16 - 19; 5 on April 20 - 25; 10 on
    April 26 - 27; 5 on April 28 - May 6; 8 on May 7-8; 5 on May 9 - 11; 10
    on May 12; 8 on May 13 - 16; 5 on May 17 - 22, and 10 on May 23.

    Sunspot numbers for April 2 - 8 were 12, 13, 11, 0, 0, 0, and 0, with a
    mean of 5.1. The 10.7-centimeter flux was 69.8, 69.9, 70.1, 71.2, 69.9,
    69.9, and 70.4, with a mean of 70.2. Estimated planetary A indices were
    7, 9, 5, 5, 3, 4, and 13, with a mean of 6.6. Middle latitude A index
    was 7, 7, 4, 4, 2, 3, and 10, with a mean of 5.3.

    A comprehensive K7RA Solar Update is posted Fridays on the ARRL
    website. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the
    ARRL Technical Information Service, read "What the Numbers Mean...,"
    and check out K9LA's Propagation Page.

    A propagation bulletin archive is available. Monthly charts offer
    propagation projections between the US and a dozen DX locations.

    Share your reports and observations.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Just Ahead in Radiosport
    * April 11 -- QRP ARCI Spring QSO Party (CW)
    * April 11 - 12 -- JIDX CW Contest
    * April 11 - 12 -- OK/OM DX Contest, SSB
    * April 11 - 12 -- F9AA Cup, PSK
    * April 11 - 12 -- FTn DX Contest (Digital)
    * April 11 - 12 -- SKCC Weekend Sprintathon (CW)
    * April 11 - 12 -- New Mexico QSO Party (CW, phone, digital)
    * April 11 - 12 -- North Dakota QSO Party (CW, phone)
    * April 11 - 12 -- Georgia QSO Party (CW, phone)
    * April 11 - 12 -- Yuri Gagarin International DX Contest (CW)
    * April 12 -- WAB 3.5/7/14 MHz Data Modes
    * April 12 -- International Vintage Contest HF (CW)
    * April 12 -- Hungarian Straight Key Contest (CW)
    * April 13 -- 4 States QRP Group Second Sunday Sprint (CW, phone)
    * April 14 -- 222 MHz Spring Sprint (CW, phone)
    * April 15 -- NAQCC CW Sprint
    * April 15 -- RSGB 80-Meter Club Championship, SSB

    See the ARRL Contest Calendar for more information. For in-depth
    reporting on amateur radio contesting, subscribe to The ARRL Contest
    Update via your ARRL member profile email preferences.

    Several Countries Authorize COVID-19 visory Suffixes

    A growing number of countries have authorized selected radio amateurs
    or organizations to identify with suffixes that propagate the advice to
    stay at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. A60STAYHOME/# call signs are
    on the air from the United Arab Emirates, while the Kuwait Amateur
    Radio Society's 9K9STAYHOME; TC1STAYHOME, in Turkey, and the Saudi
    Amateur Radio Society's HZ1STAYHOME are among these stations spreading
    the word from that part of the world.

    In Canada, Michael Shamash, VE2MXU, is using VC2STAYHOM "to raise
    awareness for social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic." Canada
    limits call sign suffixes to seven characters. On the air from
    Indonesia is 8A1HOME; Indonesia limits suffixes to four characters.
    Australia has permitted the Radio Amateur Society of Australia (RASA)
    to use the special call sign VI2020STAYHOME, which, at 14 characters,
    may set a record for world's longest call sign.

    SRAL, Finland's IARU member-society, is sponsoring the Global Amateur
    Radio Network special event, with "messenger stations" on the air with
    STAYHOME suffixes, such as OH5STAYHOME. The event runs through July 8.
    The Global Messenger Award and the Stay Home Award are available, with
    credit for working "STAY HOME" stations in other countries and at least
    five of the Finnish stations.

    Also in Finland, the Amateur Radio Club of Lahti, OH3AC, has been
    authorized to use OH0PYSYKOTONA and nine others in that series with a
    different number in the prefix. "Pysy kotona" is Finnish for "stay
    home." Contacts will be confirmed via LoTW with paper cards via OH3AC.
    An award is available for working all 10 in the series.

    CR2STAYHOME will be on the air from Sao Miguel, one of the nine islands
    in the Azores, while operators in Bosnia and Herzegovina will transmit
    the alert as E7STAYHOME (QSL via E77E and E73Y or LoTW). R3STAYHOME is
    another special call sign (QSL via the bureau to R3KEE). Also, listen
    for 5B4STAYHOME from Cyprus, operated by Norman Banks, 5B4AIE (no
    QSLs).

    Finland's SRAL has suggested the new Q signal QSH for "stay happy and
    healthy," while N3ADF is encouraging the use of QWH for "wash hands."

    FCC Part 97 Amateur Radio Service rules do not provide for amateur call
    sign suffixes longer than three characters, but a potential workaround
    exists. As AS:97.119(c) of the FCC's Amateur Radio Service rules
    states: "One or more indicators may be included with the call sign.
    Each indicator must be separated from the call sign by the slant mark
    (/) or by any suitable word that denotes the slant mark. If an
    indicator is self-assigned, it must be included before, after, or both
    before and after, the call sign. No self-assigned indicator may
    conflict with any other indicator specified by the FCC Rules or with
    any prefix assigned to another country."

    While ARRL has no plans to sponsor or support a stay home related
    event, US radio amateurs may do so as a one-off stay-at-home event.
    In Brief...

    ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, has appointed Edward J. "Ned"
    Stearns, AA7A, of Scottsdale, Arizona, as ARRL Southwestern Division
    Vice Director. He succeeds Mark Weiss, K6FG, who resigned. This will
    mark the third time Stearns has held the post. He served as
    Southwestern Division Vice Director for 2005 - 2006 and again for 2017
    - 2019. A retired electrical engineer, Stearns has been licensed since
    1963 and is active on all bands from 160 meters through 23 centimeters.
    His principal interests are DXing, contesting, VHF, moonbounce, antenna
    design, and homebrewing.

    The annual Armed Forces Day Crossband Test has been postponed, due to
    the ongoing COVID-19 response and mitigation actions. The 2020 Armed
    Forces Day (AFD) Crossband Test was scheduled to be held on Saturday,
    May 9. Because it's uncertain just when stay-at-home orders will be
    lifted across the US, AFD planners chose to postpone this year's event,
    because the government stations that typically support this event may
    not be available. Armed Forces Day Crossband Test planners are
    considering scheduling a November event in honor of Veteran's Day,
    depending on COVID-19 mitigation actions. During the AFD Crossband
    Test, military stations in various locations transmit on selected
    military frequencies and announce the specific ham frequencies they are
    monitoring to work radio amateurs. -- Thanks to US Army MARS Program
    Chief Paul English, WD8DBY

    Past ARRL Atlantic Division Director Bernard E. "Bernie" Fuller, N3EFN,
    of Saegertown, Pennsylvania, died on April 2. He was 86. Fuller moved
    into the Atlantic Division Director's position in 2000, after the ARRL
    Board elected then-Atlantic Division Director Kay Craigie, WT3P (now
    N3KN), as a Vice President. He served as an ARRL Director until 2006. A
    US Army veteran, Fuller retired with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel
    after 22 years. He was a veteran of the Korean and Vietnam wars.
    Following his retirement, he taught languages at the former Alliance
    College. Fuller was a member of the QRP Amateur Radio Club
    International and the Eastern Pennsylvania QRP Club. He belonged to the
    Military Officers Association and was a certified National Rifle
    Association instructor. A member of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers
    Association, Fuller authored e-books on RVing and hunting and was the
    publisher of the Outdoors32News newsletter.

    Past ARRL Treasurer James E. "Jim" McCobb, Jr., K1LU (ex-K1LLU, W1LLU),
    died on April 1. An ARRL Life Member, he was 77. McCobb, of West
    Newbury, Massachusetts, served as ARRL Treasurer, a volunteer post, for
    nearly 32 years, from 1980 until 2012, when he was succeeded by current
    ARRL Treasurer Rick Niswander, K7GM. An active DXer and contester,
    McCobb was active from Belize, where he held the call sign V31JR.
    McCobb was a US Air Force veteran and spent most of his professional
    career as a banker. First licensed at age 16, McCobb was very active on
    HF -- especially on 40, 20, and 17 meters, primarily on SSB, although
    he operated CW during contests. He also enjoyed listening to amateur
    and shortwave bands, DXing, ragchewing, contesting, and "doing just
    about any kind of antenna work," he said in his QRZ.com profile. His
    other hobbies included Alpine skiing, listening to music, and
    collecting stereo equipment from the mid-to-late 1970s.

    Japan is set to expand access to 160 meters. Yoshi Shoji, JG7AMD,
    reports that Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications
    that the expansion will permit SSB on that band. The current 160-meter
    band in Japan consists of 1810 - 1825 kHz (CW) plus 1907.5 - 1912.5 for
    CW and data. Japan will allocate 1800 - 1810 kHz and 1825 - 1875 kHz
    for all amateur radio modes. An effective date has not yet been
    announced.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions

    Note: Many conventions and hamfests have been canceled or postponed due
    to the coronavirus pandemic. Check the calendar of canceled events on
    the ARRL website.
    * May 9 - MicroHAMS Digital Conference 2020, Woodinville, Washington
    * June 6 -- Georgia State Convention, Marietta, Georgia
    * June 6 - 7 -- Western Pennsylvania Section Convention, Prospect,
    Pennsylvania
    * June 12 - 13 -- Ham-Com, Plano, Texas
    * June 20 -- Tennessee State Convention, Knoxville, Tennessee

    Find conventions and hamfests in your area.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    ARRL -- Your One-Stop Resource for
    Amateur Radio News and Information.

    .

    .
    * Join or Renew Today! ARRL membership includes QST, amateur radio's
    most popular and informative journal, and On the Air, a new
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    both magazines online.
    * Listen to ARRL Audio News, available every Friday.

    Subscribe to...
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    Free of charge to ARRL members...
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    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    The ARRL Letter is published Thursdays, 50 times each year. ARRL members
    and registered guests may subscribe at no cost or unsubscribe by editing
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    Copyright (c) 2020 American Radio Relay League, Incorporated. Use and
    distribution of this publication, or any portion thereof, is permitted for
    non-commercial or educational purposes, with attribution. All other
    purposes require written permission.


    --- SendMsg/2

    --- Squish/386 v1.11
    * Origin: Outpost BBS * Limestone, TN, USA (1:18/200)
  • From Sean Dennis@1:18/200 to All on Fri Apr 17 09:05:18 2020
    The ARRL Letter
    April 16, 2020

    * Remotely ministered Amateur Exam Systems Showing Promise
    * New Volunteer Monitor Program is Up and Running
    * Greater LoTW Database Accuracy is the Goal of TQSL Update(s)
    * ARRL Announces New Benefits for Members
    * ARRL Podcasts Schedule
    * The K7RA Solar Update
    * Just Ahead in Radiosport
    * ARRL Rookie Roundup SSB Edition Considers Social Distancing
    * HAM RADIO in Friedrichshafen, Germany, Announces Cancellation of
    2020 Show
    * ARISS Altering its Approach in Light of COVID-19 Pandemic
    * In Brief...
    * Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    COVID-19 Impact & News

    Find the latest news and information on the impact of the coronavirus
    pandemic to ARRL members and our global amateur radio community.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Remotely ministered Amateur Exam Systems Showing Promise

    Facing a growing demand for amateur radio exam sessions in a time of
    social distancing and stay-at-home orders, sponsors of some Volunteer
    Examiner (VE) teams have risen to the challenge and are developing
    systems to remotely proctor test sessions.

    "Many of our VEs and VE Teams have been working on remotely proctored
    exam session ideas, employing both video and in-person components --
    following social distancing protocols," ARRL Volunteer Examiner
    Coordinator (VEC) Manager Maria Somma, AB1FM, said. "We have been
    receiving interesting and innovative suggestions, and we appreciate the
    dedication and ingenuity our examiners have shown."

    The Spalding County Amateur Radio Club in Georgia is among those that
    have come up with plans to remotely administer amateur exams while
    complying with ARRL VEC testing standards during COVID-19 stay-home
    mandates and social distancing guidelines. Current systems leverage
    Zoom video-teleconferencing technology, the "Fill & Sign" feature of
    obe PDFs, reliable email, appropriate computer equipment and internet
    connection, and no volunteer examiners (VEs) present at individual
    remote test sites. The Georgia club collaborated and shared ideas with
    the Emergency Amateur Radio Club (EARC) in Hawaii, which has
    successfully conducted sessions since 2011 with its own remote testing
    system, initially with paper exams with a proctor on site and now with
    fillable PDFs, with no on-site proctor.

    The Georgia club obtained ARRL VEC approval to administer
    video-supervised exams. "We have started with testing just one
    candidate at a time, but are planning to ramp up to multiple candidates
    -- probably two or three -- simultaneously," club member David
    Robinson, K4WVZ, told ARRL. "Before we do that, we want a few more
    single sessions under our belt and a few more Video VEs trained."

    The club's procedures entail a pre-exam video interview with candidates
    to ensure they understand all the requirements and procedures.
    Following the exam, the VEs score the test and sign off on the
    paperwork, with the VE Team Leader submitting the application online
    and by mail, per ARRL VEC instructions.

    New England Amateur Radio Inc (NE1AR), an affiliate of New England
    Sci-Tech, (NESciTech), has taken it one step further, Somma said. It
    got the approval of ARRL VEC to begin trials of what it describes as
    "completely online testing with strict rules and protocols for
    maintaining the integrity of the testing environment." NE1AR is
    limiting candidates to one exam per session, due to the current
    candidate backlog and the "difficulty of administering exams online."
    Candidates must agree to a list of protocols, which include a
    cell-phone camera scan of the entire room and exam area "to show that
    there are no materials or people [in the room] that could aid in taking
    the exam."

    "We began a series of trials on April 1 under ARRL VEC review and have
    now been asked to help train more VE teams on the process," NE1AR
    President Bob Phinney, K5TEC, told ARRL. "We have now tested 12
    applicants and are still working on streamlining the process. We are
    working with the software developer of the exam delivery system to help
    them adapt the system for video-supervised testing."

    With pressure continuing to build to provide testing compatible with
    COVID-19 guidelines and stay-home orders, ARRL VEC Manager Maria Somma
    has asked the amateur radio community to be patient. "Please remember
    that with the introduction of significant new processes such as these,
    that there should be proof of concept, establishment of protocols and
    procedures, and beta testing, before expanding to a larger audience,"
    she said this week. Somma said video-supervised exam sessions require a
    different skillset than in-person exam administration, and not all
    teams will be equipped to deliver video exams right away.

    "ARRL is pleased to be one of the leaders in providing an opportunity,
    although limited initially, for video-supervised exams in this time of
    social distancing and isolation required by the current health
    situation," Somma said. Read more.

    New Volunteer Monitor Program is Up and Running

    After kicking off on January 1, the new Volunteer Monitor Program has
    ramped up to operational status. A "soft rollout" of the program began
    on February 1, designed to familiarize Volunteer Monitors (VMs) with
    issues on the bands and to put into practice what to report -- and what
    to ignore, based on their training. The VMs will not only be looking
    for operating discrepancies, but for examples of good operating. The VM
    program has, at least for the moment, put Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH,
    back in the center of amateur radio enforcement as the Volunteer
    Monitor Coordinator (VMC). He was brought aboard to get the program up
    and running, and ARRL will eventually take over the VMC function.

    Hollingsworth is using a system called VMTRAC -- developed by a VM --
    to measure the work of VMs and determine instances that qualify for
    good operator or discrepancy notices, referral to the FCC, or follow-up
    with FCC requests to the VM program. Hollingsworth reported that during
    March, the 165 active VMs logged upward of 2,300 hours of monitoring on
    HF, and nearly 2,000 hours on VHF-UHF and other frequencies.

    "I am extremely pleased with the number of hours devoted to monitoring
    this early in the program," Hollingsworth said. No stone is being left
    unturned. Two VMs constantly monitor FT8 watering holes and have
    developed programs that alert them if a licensee is operating outside
    of privileges accorded to that license class or if a license has
    expired. "We have 30 open cases, five of which are good operator
    cases," Hollingsworth said. "Regarding open cases relating to rule
    violations, none have yet had to be referred to the FCC." He said he's
    experimented with letters, telephone calls, or emails to the subjects
    of

    Riley Hollingsworth,
    K4ZDH.

    discrepancy reports where they could be identified. While he's still
    waiting for replies to his written correspondence, he has received
    responses to his calls and emails, and the violations have either
    stopped or were explained. "They were violations such as expired
    licenses, Technicians operating on General frequencies, unauthorized
    use of a call sign, and deliberate interference," he said.

    One case "being groomed for FCC referral," he said, involves
    long-standing interference to a repeater in the Philadelphia area by
    someone using an unauthorized call sign. Hollingsworth said he worked
    with net control operators of nets on 75 and 40 meters that had been
    suffering serious interference, and so far the solutions are working.

    "It is becoming apparent that if informal contact can be made by the
    VMC with a known offender, the problem can sometimes be stopped,"
    Hollingsworth said. "We do not want to call upon the FCC unless
    absolutely necessary." Read more.

    Greater LoTW Database Accuracy is the Goal of TQSL Update(s)

    The recently released TQSL version 2.5.2 application for uploading logs
    to Logbook of The World (LoTW) tightens requirements for data
    consistency, with the goal of improving the integrity of the LoTW
    database. Starting with TQSL version 2.5.2, discrepancies in submitted
    logs are now flagged, especially when it comes to the Amateur Data
    Interchange Format (ADIF) files frequently uploaded to LoTW. This has
    prompted questions and concerns, however, when the system fails to
    accept a user's uploaded contact or log.

    ADIF exists precisely to help ensure the accuracy of "data interchange"
    among amateur radio applications -- different logging programs, for
    example. TQSL uses ADIF file data for cross-checks that help to keep
    inaccurate or incomplete information from contaminating the LoTW
    database, and that's where some user issues have arisen. For example,
    the OPERATOR field, which should be a call sign, sometimes shows up as
    a name. Occasionally, operators have reversed their ITU and CQ zones.
    Another issue is in the MY_STATE field, which should show a US Postal
    Service two-letter state abbreviation. Anything else is a problem.

    "The value of the checks added to TQSL is that it lets operators know
    when the data they're handling in their computer-based logs is
    correct," said TQSL Developer Rick Murphy, K1MU. "It's important to
    make sure that when a ham submits a log to LoTW that the content of
    that log accurately captures the details."

    Some help is on the way. Murphy will soon release TQSL version 2.5.3,
    which, among other things, skips over the OPERATOR field check. "We
    have found that some of the checking performed for TQSL 2.5.2 was
    incomplete in some cases -- for example, allowing incorrect zone
    information to pass, and overly strict in other cases -- for example,
    the STATION_OWNER tag," Murphy said. "We've made great strides in
    improving the way logs are checked to ensure that checking is more
    complete while not raising false alarms."

    The problem is not always with the user. The initial implementation of
    cross-checks in TQSL 2.5.2 revealed that not all logging applications
    conform to the ADIF standard. TQSL 2.5.2 has offered support for
    operations from several locations, as well as the ability to detect
    uploads that contain incorrect location data.

    "Operators have a right to insist that the logging applications they
    use conform to the standards agreed upon by the ADIF collective," said
    Greg Widin, K0GW, the chair of the ARRL LoTW Committee. "Those who find
    that their logger is out of conformance should demand an update." Read
    more.
    ARRL Announces New Benefits for Members

    ARRL members will now receive digital access to four ARRL magazines
    beginning with their May/June issues. Joining QST and On the Air
    magazines on a digital platform will be the bimonthly editions of QEX
    -- The Forum for Communications Experimenters and NCJ -- National
    Contest Journal. QEX includes articles, columns, and other features
    ranging from construction projects to more advanced technical
    information in radio theory and practice. NCJ, published since 1973,
    targets radio amateurs active in radiosport. NCJ includes scores,
    technical articles, contributions from top contesters, and advice for
    beginners and seasoned radiosport enthusiasts alike.

    "Feedback from ARRL members and our readership surveys has shown that
    our magazines are one of the most valued member benefits," said ARRL
    Publications Manager Steve Ford, WB8IMY. "Our investment in digital
    access provides another channel through which we can deliver content to
    our members across the expanse of interests and activities in amateur
    radio. All members can enjoy specialized content and a high-quality
    reading experience whether at their desk or on the go. Offering this
    suite of digital magazines is an opportunity for us to give members
    more of what they want while adding value to ARRL membership."

    ARRL's digital magazine editions provide replicas of the printed
    editions with added functionality, allowing users to fully search
    issues, enlarge pages, share articles, and more. The free ARRL
    Magazines app also supports downloading complete issues onto your
    mobile device or tablet for offline reading.

    Members who have elected to receive a printed QST or On the Air as part
    of their membership benefits will continue to have this service.
    Members may not substitute a print subscription of QEX or NCJ as their
    delivered magazine member benefit. Print subscriptions of QEX and NCJ
    will continue to be available at additional cost for those who want to
    receive them.

    All four magazines are easily accessed through any web browser from
    members-only links. The free ARRL Magazines app is available for iOS
    and Android in the Apple App Store and Google Play. If you're already
    an ARRL member and previously created an arrl.org website account, your
    username and password will provide you access to the digital editions,
    whether online or in the app. Members who have not previously
    registered will need to create a new account. If you've forgotten your

    --- SendMsg/2

    --- Squish/386 v1.11
    * Origin: Outpost BBS * Limestone, TN, USA (1:18/200)
  • From Sean Dennis@1:18/200 to All on Fri Apr 24 09:05:20 2020
    The ARRL Letter
    April 23, 2020

    * ARRL, AMSAT Seek "Relatively Minor Changes" In FCC Orbital Debris
    Mitigation Proposals
    * ARRL Suggests Taking a Creative Approach to Field Day 2020
    * Ballot Counting Postponed in Four Section Manager Elections
    * ARRL Podcasts Schedule
    * Nomination Deadline Extended for Philip J. McGan Memorial Silver
    Antenna Award
    * 2020 Youth on the Air in the Americas Camp is Canceled
    * FCC Seeking World Radiocommunication Conference visory Committee
    Members
    * The K7RA Solar Update
    * Just Ahead in Radiosport
    * NOAA Updates Solar Cycle 25 Prediction
    * Japan's Radio Amateurs Gain Expanded Access to 160 and 80 Meters
    * In Brief...
    * Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    COVID-19 Impact & News

    Find the latest news and information on the impact of the coronavirus
    pandemic to ARRL members and our global amateur radio community.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    ARRL, AMSAT Seek "Relatively Minor Changes" In FCC Orbital Debris
    Mitigation Proposals

    On April 8, ARRL Washington Counsel Dave Siddall, K3ZJ, and AMSAT-NA
    Executive Vice President Paul Stoetzer, N8HM, discussed with senior FCC
    International Bureau staff by telephone the FCC's draft Report & Order
    (R&O) on mitigation of orbital debris (IB Docket No. 18-313). The
    amateur representatives told the FCC staff that "two aspects of the
    draft regulations are of particular concern... and would seriously
    hinder amateur radio's future operations in space, if adopted as
    proposed without the relatively minor changes that we propose."

    First, ARRL and AMSAT requested a revision to proposed language that
    otherwise would allow only private individual licensees to indemnify
    the US for the operations of an amateur space satellite. ARRL and AMSAT
    requested that satellite owners be added to that provision. The amateur
    representatives, noting that amateur radio licensees may only be
    individuals under the amateur rules, stated that "[i]n no other service
    would an individual be required to personally make a similar
    indemnification" and that "it would be difficult to impossible to find
    an individual amateur radio licensee willing to bear that risk."

    Second, ARRL and AMSAT asked the FCC to delay by 3 years the proposed
    effective date of April 23, 2022, for a rule that would require
    satellite operators to certify that space stations "be designed with
    the maneuvering capabilities sufficient to perform collision avoidance"
    for spacecraft designed to operate above 400 kilometers in altitude.
    Citing the long lead times to design and construct amateur satellites,
    ARRL and AMSAT suggested that a more reasonable date would be April 23,
    2025 and noted that, based on recent past years, only an estimated
    threeamateur satellites likely would be launched during the extra
    period.

    "We do not disagree with the purpose of this requirement," they told
    the FCC staff, but "the proposed effective date is unreasonable in the
    case of amateur radio satellites." The new effective date "would allow
    time for amateur spacecraft designers to adapt to this new
    requirement," they said.

    Citing the value of amateur satellites to the development of the
    commercial small satellite industry, and student participation in such
    projects, ARRL and AMSAT said a strong and robust Amateur Satellite
    Service will help inspire future developments in satellite technology.
    The requested changes to the draft R&O would help ensure that amateur
    radio continues to have a future in space and contribute to the public
    interest on an educational, non-pecuniary basis.

    The FCC was expected to consider the R&O at its April 23 open meeting.

    House Leaders Request that FCC Delay Action

    Members of the US House Science, Space, and Technology Committee asked
    the FCC to delay action on the "Mitigation of Orbital Debris in the New
    Space Age" rulemaking proceeding. Science Committee members raised
    several concerns, including the timing of the action during the
    COVID-19 pandemic.

    "Given the unprecedented circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 crisis,
    the immense effort undertaken to recover from the pandemic, and the
    potential for the FCC's proposal to exacerbate impacts on US industry
    and international competitiveness at a critical period in our nation's
    history, we hope that you will agree to postpone future action," the
    letter reads.

    The lawmakers' letter also raises concerns with the rule itself, with
    the rulemaking process, and with the potential for regulatory and
    legislative inconsistency, noting significant stakeholder concerns.

    "The proposal contradicts Executive Branch policy and is inconsistent
    with existing and proposed legislative action," the letter states.
    "Regulatory action by the FCC at this time, without clear authority
    from Congress, will at the very least create confusion and undermine
    the Commission's work, and at worst, undermine US economic
    competitiveness and leadership in space."

    The letter also suggested that FCC action could duplicate efforts now
    under way by the Department of Commerce.
    ARRL Suggests Taking a Creative Approach to Field Day 2020

    This year, ARRL Field Day promises to be a unique iteration of this
    annual event, with many individuals and groups coming up with new and
    interesting ways to adjust their approach. As an event, Field Day is
    structured to be versatile and can be adapted for any situation.

    Many groups have asked how they can adjust their Field Day planning to
    address social-distancing guidelines that may be in effect in many
    areas of the country, as gathering at their traditional Field Day site
    may not be feasible or safe. Instead of participating in a group event
    this year, consider operating as a Class B, C, D, or E station,
    utilizing your own call sign.

    ARRL will include club names for all participating stations in the
    published results, so the efforts of your club's members can be
    acknowledged. While we will not publish an aggregate club score, seeing
    the name of your club associated with various individual member's
    results is certainly a way to highlight your club's activity.

    Myriad opportunities are possible in this year's Field Day setting. A
    few options are as follows:
    * Consider having an intra-club competition among members, seeing who
    can make the most contacts during the event. You can award prizes
    or distribute certificates at a club meeting. This can be a fun way
    to bolster the activities of individual club members, even though
    they cannot all gather together at the same location this year.
    * Set up a Field Day Challenge with rival clubs in neighboring
    communities. See how many members of each club get on the air from
    their own stations and participate in the event. In addition to
    "bragging rights," perhaps certificates to the top-scoring
    individual entries in each category can be presented as part of
    this inter-club camaraderie.

    One club is planning to conduct its Field Day as a 4A club group, with
    participants spaced to comply with social distancing guidelines within
    the required 1,000-foot-diameter circle and operating individual
    stations. This club also plans to set up a "Get on the Air" (GOTA)
    station. The club's plan is to have the GOTA coach at the Field Day
    site, while GOTA operators participate via remote link.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    ARRL invites your stories about the interesting and creative ways
    you're planning to use to adapt your Field Day operation. Share these
    on the ARRL Field Day Facebook page.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Another club is planning to set up a remote-controlled station at its
    usual Field Day site, with club members taking turns controlling the
    station from their homes. The club is developing a schedule that
    outlines when each member of the club will be at the helm via the
    remote link.

    Whatever approach you take to this year's Field Day, keep up to date
    with the current guidelines issued by local and state health agencies
    that may impact your proposed operation.

    For the latest news and updates, visit the Field Day webpage. -- Thanks
    to ARRL Contest Program Manager Paul Bourque, N1SFE

    Ballot Counting Postponed in Four Section Manager Elections

    During these unprecedented times of social distancing and staying at
    home, the ARRL Ethics and Elections Committee (E&E) has postponed
    ballot counting for four contested Section Manager elections.

    Since March 23, ARRL Headquarters staff has been working remotely under
    the Governor of Connecticut's mandate, which is currently in effect
    through May 20 and may be extended into June. The ballots for the
    Section Manager races in Illinois, Indiana, Oregon, and Maine were
    scheduled to be counted on Tuesday, May 19 as directed by the ARRL
    rules and regulations for Section Manager elections. Due to the
    circumstances, ARRL Interim CEO Barry Shelley, N1VXY, asked the E&E
    Committee for an extension that would allow ballot counting to happen
    as soon as practicable before mid-June.

    Although this extension was granted, it does not change the Friday, May
    15, 2020 deadline for ballots to be received at ARRL HQ. Standard
    operating practice dictates that any ballots received after this
    deadline will not be counted. The Governor's mandate and social
    distancing practices do not affect this section of the election rules.

    Terms for election winners are scheduled to begin on July 1, 2020. ARRL
    hopes to see the Governor's restrictions relaxed in time to have a team
    of tellers inside HQ to count the ballots and publish the elections'
    results in enough time that the terms of office will not change. The
    E&E Committee will have to decide the course of action, should any
    unforeseen circumstances not allow the ballots to be counted by
    mid-June.

    The safety of our staff and members remains the highest priority as we
    work through these difficult times. Thank you for your understanding.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    ARRL Podcasts Schedule

    The latest episode of the On the Air podcast (Episode 4) focuses how to
    create a family emergency communications plan and includes an interview
    with Dino Papas, KL0S, about attaching coaxial connectors with crimping
    tools.

    The latest episode of the Eclectic Tech podcast (Episode 6) includes an
    interview with ARRL Assistant Laboratory Manager Bob Allison, WB1GCM,
    about key clicks and a discussion with NCJ editor Scott Wright, K0MD,
    about artificial intelligence software and amateur radio.

    The On the Air and Eclectic Tech podcasts are sponsored by Icom.

    Both podcasts are available on iTunes (iOS) and Stitcher (Android) as
    well as on Blubrry -- On the Air | Eclectic Tech.

    Nomination Deadline Extended for Philip J. McGan Memorial Silver
    Antenna Award

    In light of the coronavirus pandemic, the ARRL Public Relations
    Committee has extended the nomination deadline for the Philip J. McGan
    Memorial Silver Antenna Award until Monday, June 15, 2020.

    The Philip J. McGan Memorial Silver Antenna Award is presented annually
    to a radio amateur who has demonstrated success in his or her public
    relations efforts on behalf of amateur radio and who best exemplifies
    the volunteer spirit of the award's namesake, journalist Philip McGan,
    WA2MBQ (SK). McGan was the first chairman of the ARRL Public Relations
    Committee, which helped reinvigorate ARRL's commitment to public
    relations. To honor McGan, members of the New Hampshire Amateur Radio
    Association joined with the ARRL Board of Directors to establish an
    award that would pay lasting tribute to the important contributions he
    made on behalf of amateur radio.

    Public relations activities for which the McGan Award is presented
    include efforts specifically directed at depicting amateur radio in a
    positive light in the media and for the general public. This may
    include traditional methods, such as issuing news releases or arranging
    interviews, or by less-traditional methods, such as hosting a radio
    show or serving as an active public speaker.

    The ARRL Board of Directors will choose the award winner at its July
    2020 meeting, based on recommendations from the ARRL Public Relations
    Committee. The Committee has responsibility for reviewing the
    nominations and supporting material.

    Eligible nominees must be full ARRL members in good standing at the
    time of nomination. The award is given only to an individual, and
    nominees may not be current ARRL officers, directors, vice directors,
    paid staffers, or members of the ARRL Public Relations Committee.
    Nominees must not be compensated for any public relations work
    involving amateur radio -- including payment for articles.

    A nominee's efforts must fit the definition of public relations and
    recognize the promotion of amateur radio to the non-amateur radio
    community.

    Nominations must be received at ARRL Headquarters by the close of
    business on Monday, June 15, 2020. Nominations must be on an official
    entry form. Anyone may make a nomination.

    For more information, contact ARRL Public Relations Committee Chair Sid
    Caesar, NH7C, or send an email to the ARRL Headquarters Public
    Relations mailbox.
    2020 Youth on the Air in the Americas Camp is Canceled

    The inaugural camp for radio amateurs in the Americas aged 15 through
    25 has been put off until next year. It was set to take place June 21 -
    26 at the National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting in West
    Chester Township (North Cincinnati, Ohio). It has been rescheduled for
    July 2021. Campers accepted to the 2020 camp will have the first chance
    to register for next year's camp. The daily schedule and plan for the
    2020 camp will be the same for the 2021 camp as much as possible. The
    committee found that July was a more accessible date for the widest
    range of campers to attend.

    The committee is also looking at ideas for a shortened, virtual camp
    this summer, so that campers can participate in limited activities from
    home. The camp was meant to focus on building peer and mentor
    relationships and taking amateur radio to the next level.

    While many sponsors and donors have already expressed support for
    holding over funds received for 2020 to use in 2021, refunds of
    donations made to the camp are being offered. Groups or individuals
    wishing to receive a refund should contact director Neil Rapp, WB9VPG.
    Less than $350 of the money spent thus far went to items that may not
    be usable in 2021, Rapp said.

    More information about YOTA in the Americas can be found at
    YouthOnTheAir and on YOTAregion2 on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and
    YouTube.

    FCC Seeking World Radiocommunication Conference visory Committee
    Members

    The FCC has announced that it's looking for individuals or entities to
    serve on its World Radiocommunication Conference visory Committee.
    The committee will provide advice, technical support, and recommended
    proposals in the run-up to World Radiocommunication Conference 2023
    (WRC-23). In particular, the committee will focus on international
    frequency spectrum issues identified on the WRC-23 agenda. The
    committee will be charged with gathering data and information necessary
    to formulate meaningful recommendations for these objectives.

    The FCC seeks applications from interested individuals, organizations,
    institutions, or other entities in both the public and private sectors.
    Selection will be based on factors such as expertise and diversity of
    viewpoints necessary to effectively address the questions before the
    committee.

    Applicants should describe both their specific interests and their
    expertise or experience as it relates to the questions before the
    committee, including such matters as wireless communications
    infrastructure and equipment, telecommunications, fixed, mobile,
    broadcasting, satellite, and other radiocommunication services,
    consumer advocacy, and underserved populations. It's anticipated that
    the committee will meet in Washington, DC, up to three times per year
    in preparation for WRC-23.

    Submit nominations, including contact information and the statement of
    qualifications, by email no later than May 29, 2020.
    The K7RA Solar Update

    Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, reports: The last day with a visible sunspot
    was April 4.

    Over the April 16 - 22 reporting week, the average daily solar flux was
    69, down 0.5 point from the previous week's average of 69.5.

    Average daily planetary A index was 7.3, while the mid-latitude A index
    was 7, up from 6.1 and 5, respectively, mainly due to the first
    geomagnetic storm of 2020, which pushed the planetary A index to 18 on
    April 19.

    Recent solar flux numbers have been soft, with averages over recent
    weeks of 71.1, 69.4, 70.2, 69.5, and now 69. Lower solar flux probably
    means less radiation that might excite the ionosphere. Predicted solar
    flux is 71 on April 23 - 30 and 69 on May 1 - June 6.

    The predicted planetary A index is forecast at 10 on April 23; 5 on
    April 24 - 29; 8 on April 30; 5 on May 1 - 4; 12 on May 5; 5 on May 6 -
    16; 12, 10, 8, and 10 on May 17 - 20; 5 on May 21 - 23; 10, 5, 5, and 8
    on May 24 - 27; 5 on May 28 - 31; 12 on June 1, and 5 on June 2 - 6.

    Sunspot numbers for April 16 - 22 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, and 0, with a
    mean of 0. The 10.7-centimeter flux was 68.5, 67.9, 69.8, 68.6, 68.2,
    69.1, and 70.7, with a mean of 69. Estimated planetary A indices were
    5, 4, 4, 3, 18, 9, and 8, with a mean of 6.1. The middle latitude A
    index was 5, 4, 4, 2, 16, 8, and 10, with a mean of 5.

    A comprehensive K7RA Solar Update is posted Fridays on the ARRL
    website. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the
    ARRL Technical Information Service, read "What the Numbers Mean...,"
    and check out K9LA's Propagation Page.

    A propagation bulletin archive is available. Monthly charts offer
    propagation projections between the US and a dozen DX locations.

    Share your reports and observations.

    Just Ahead in Radiosport
    * April 25 - 26 -- 10-10 International Spring Contest, Digital
    * April 25 - 26 -- SP DX RTTY Contest
    * April 25 - 26 -- Helvetia Contest (CW, phone, digital)
    * April 25 - 26 -- Florida QSO Party (CW, phone)
    * April 26 -- BARTG Sprint 75 (Digital)
    * April 27 - 28 -- QCX Challenge (CW)
    * April 29 -- UKEICC 80-Meter Contest (CW)

    See the ARRL Contest Calendar for more information. For in-depth
    reporting on amateur radio contesting, subscribe to The ARRL Contest
    Update via your ARRL member profile email preferences.
    NOAA Updates Solar Cycle 25 Prediction

    Frank Donovan, W3LPL, notes that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
    ministration (NOAA) Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) has
    published its official updated prediction of Solar Cycle 25 in new,
    interactive Solar Cycle Progression graphs. The updated prediction is
    based on the results of NOAA's Solar Cycle 25 Prediction Panel.

    "SWPC forecasts a solar maximum between 105 and 125, with the peak
    occurring between November 2024 and March 2026," Donovan said. "There
    is broad consensus that solar minimum is ongoing this year -- or may
    have already occurred -- and that Cycle 25 will have no major change in
    the level of solar activity compared to Cycle 24."

    As Donovan explained, for many years the SWPC's solar cycle predictions
    have used the Royal Observatory of Belgium's International Sunspot
    Number. SWPC's official solar cycle prediction now uses the SWPC
    sunspot number. The International Sunspot Number is typically about
    one-third lower than the SWPC sunspot number.

    "While this is SWPC's official Cycle 25 prediction, it's important to
    note there is still divergence among various forecasting methods and
    members of the space weather forecasting community," Donovan said.
    "Most forecasts and forecasters agree that the Cycle 25 peak is likely
    to be within ±20% of Cycle 24 and is likely to occur between 2024 and
    2027."

    More information is on the Springer Nature website. -- Thanks to The
    Daily DX
    Japan's Radio Amateurs Gain Expanded Access to 160 and 80 Meters

    Effective on April 21, Japanese radio amateurs have new privileges on
    160 and 80 meters. The new allocations are 1800 - 1810, 1825 - 1875,
    3575 - 3580, and 3662 - 3680 kHz.

    ARRL Life Member Kenji Rikitake, JJ1BDX/N6BDX, said the new regime
    allows Japanese radio amateurs to operate FT8 on 80 meters (3574 ~ 3577
    kHz), and on 160 meters (1840 ~ 1843 kHz) as well as WSPR (1836.6 kHz).

    On 160 meters, the allocations are:
    * 1800 - 1810: All modes (new assignment)
    * 1810 - 1825: CW only
    * 1825 - 1875 kHz: All modes (as secondary service, new assignment)
    * 1907.5 - 1912.5: CW and data (A1A, F1B, F1D, G1B, and G1D)

    On 80 meters, the allocations are:
    * 3500 - 3520: CW (A1A) only
    * 3520 - 3535: CW and data (A1A, F1B, F1D, G1B, and G1D)
    * 3535 - 3575: CW, phone, and image, and data only permitted for
    making contacts with non-JA amateurs
    * 3575 - 3580: All modes (as secondary service, new assignment)
    * 3599 - 3612: CW, phone, image, and data
    * 3662 - 3680: All modes (as secondary service, new assignment)
    * 3680 - 3687: CW, phone, and image
    * 3702 - 3716, 3745 - 3770, and 3791 - 3805: CW, phone, and image (no
    data).

    ditional details are on the Japan Amateur Radio League (JARL)
    website.-- Thanks to Kenji Rikitake, JJ1BDX/N6BDX
    In Brief...

    The ARRL 2020 Teachers Institute sessions have been canceled. The
    landscape of education in the US has been greatly affected by the
    current pandemic. As K - 12 school systems and universities have been
    forced to move entirely to remote learning, teachers and students have
    had to make dramatic adjustments to their teaching and learning
    methods. After considering these educational challenges, along with
    travel restrictions and restraints on the ability to gather in groups,
    ARRL leadership feels it is appropriate and necessary to cancel the
    2020 Teachers Institute. We look forward to bringing back this
    important program in 2021, so that we can continue promoting amateur
    radio in the classroom through our Education and Technology Program
    (ETP). ARRL will communicate directly with those who have already
    applied, and they will receive a full refund. Please direct questions
    to EAD@arrl.org.

    The Medical Net, a special COVID-19 net, is running Wednesdays, 0130
    UTC, on 7.222 MHz. The net deals with correct data on COVID-19
    epidemiology care, care issues, and more. Net control will be Dr. Harry
    Przekop, WB9EDP, a past president of the Medical Amateur Radio Council
    Organization (MARCO) and now a director at large. Przekop is a
    specialist in infectious diseases and biomedical physics and is
    board-certified as an expert in HIV care. Participants do not need to
    be physicians or medical providers to check in, ask questions, and
    otherwise take part, but no diagnoses can be rendered. The regular
    MARCO Grand Rounds Net is held on Sundays, 1500 UTC, on 14.342 MHz.

    Contest University (CTU) 2020 will be online and free. Tim Duffy, K3LR,
    has announced that CTU USA 2020 will be held online via Zoom on
    Thursday, May 14, starting at 1245 UTC. CTU 2020 is free. The CTU
    course outline has been posted online. Connection details to the CTU
    Zoom bridge will be posted on the Contest University site 1 week prior
    to CTU. Sessions will be recorded for viewing any time after May 14.
    Slide decks will be posted on the CTU website as well. At the end of
    CTU 2020, Dave Siddall, K3ZJ, will present the 2020 CQ Contest Hall of
    Fame awards.

    A Welsh radio amateur copied the Titanic distress call, but authorities
    did not believe him. April 15 marked the 108th anniversary of the
    Titanic disaster. As the passenger vessel was going down, frantic
    shipboard radio operators transmitted repeated distress calls. Arthur
    "Artie" Moore, MNX, near Pontllanfraith, Wales, heard one of the calls
    for help: "CQD CQD SOS de MGY Position 41.44N 50.24W. Require immediate
    assistance. Come at once. We have struck an iceberg. Sinking." At that
    time, operators used "CQD" (come quickly, distress) and "SOS"
    interchangeably. MGY was the RMS Titanic's call sign. The then
    26-year-old Moore picked up the distress calls from the stricken ship
    thousands of miles away, and, as recounted in The South Wales Argus
    newspaper, he raced to inform police about what he'd heard, but the
    authorities would not believe him. It wasn't until a day or two later
    that the grim news reached the shores of Great Britain. More than 1,500
    people died in the tragedy, including some prominent individuals, on
    the voyage from England to the US on the Titanic's maiden voyage.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Note: Many conventions and hamfests have been canceled or postponed due
    to the coronavirus pandemic. Check the calendar of canceled events on
    the ARRL website.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    * May 9 - MicroHAMS Digital Conference 2020 (Virtual Event)
    * June 12 - 13 -- Ham-Com, Plano, Texas
    * June 20 -- Tennessee State Convention, Knoxville, Tennessee

    Find conventions and hamfests in your area.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    ARRL -- Your One-Stop Resource for
    Amateur Radio News and Information.

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    * Join or Renew Today! ARRL membership includes QST, amateur radio's
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    --- SendMsg/2

    --- Squish/386 v1.11
    * Origin: Outpost BBS * Limestone, TN, USA (1:18/200)
  • From Sean Dennis@1:18/200 to All on Fri May 1 09:05:02 2020
    The ARRL Letter
    April 30, 2020

    * Emergency Ventilator Designed and Constructed by Hams Going to FDA
    * ARISS Experiments with School Contacts Using "Multipoint
    Telebridge" Approach
    * Resolving Sunspot Number Confusion
    * ARRL Podcasts Schedule
    * The K7RA Solar Update
    * Just Ahead in Radiosport
    * Radio Amateur Finds Another "Zombie Satellite"
    * Frequency Measuring Test Results Posted
    * Hams in India Provide Communication Assistance during COVID-19
    Pandemic
    * Garmin Seeks FCC Ruling or Waiver to Obtain Certification for Part
    95/Part 25 Device
    * RSGB Aims to Promote Health and Well-Being within the Amateur Radio
    Community
    * Announcements
    * Getting It Right
    * Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    COVID-19 Impact & News

    Find the latest news and information on the impact of the coronavirus
    pandemic to ARRL members and our global amateur radio community.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Emergency Ventilator Designed and Constructed by Hams Going to FDA

    Radio amateurs have succeeded in providing a complete, working
    ventilator system to University of Florida researchers who are in the
    process of applying to the Food and Drug ministration for an
    Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). A successful submission would blaze
    the way for volunteers and manufacturers around the world to create
    low-cost, highly functional Intensive Care Unit (ICU) or
    anesthesia-care ventilators that offer many of the features of modern

    Airway components of the emergency
    ventilator. [Photo courtesy of
    Gordon Gibby, KX4Z]

    ventilators at a fraction of the typical cost. Dr. Gordon Gibby, KX4Z,
    who is associated with the project, said efforts to further improve the
    device are ongoing.

    "We made a stunning improvement in accuracy of the system and measuring
    volumes last night at about 1 AM," he told ARRL. "Accuracy of that
    particular alarm measurement went from about 300%, down to about 10%.
    The FDA submission is being readied, but we keep making engineering
    improvements."

    Gibby credited some of the primary volunteers. "Bob Benedict, KD8CGH,
    has provided incredible volunteer testing, now exceeding 1.6 million
    cycles on one crucial valve and 300,000 on another. Jack Purdum, W8TEE,
    is the main 'code-cleaner' for one of multiple teams building software,
    following the initial lead of Marcelo Varanda, VA3MVV. Ashhar Farhan,
    VU2ESE, not only created the ventilator controller schematic but the
    printed circuit board layout that will be part of an expected
    University of Florida submission." Farhan was among the founding code
    writers of what we now know as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).

    Other hams worked on mechanical designs for flow measurements and
    retooled potential manufacturing capabilities otherwise used to produce
    transceivers. In another example of ham radio ingenuity, Marc
    Winzenried, WA9ZCO, modified a readily available lawn sprinkler to
    serve as a durable expiratory valve. This development enabled the
    ventilator to go more than 1 million breaths before significant valve
    issues developed, and the part can be replaced for less than $15.

    The ventilator controller circuit
    board, designed by Michael
    Stapleton, WD4LHT. [Courtesy of
    Gordon Gibby, KX4Z]

    The completed prototype in Florida was built using typical tools by a
    radio amateur, and assembled boards provided by LifeMech, a
    manufacturer working with the project. Farhan crafted an extendable
    menu structure for the Arduino Nano-based controller, and gas-flow
    measurements are made every few milliseconds by an I2C-based
    differential pressure transducer that can measure down to tiny PSI
    fractions, allowing the design to accurately track patient-induced
    variations in the volume of delivered gasses.

    "Using Wenzenried's expiratory valve, electronic on-off control at the
    rate of 30 Hz allows modulation of the valve to set the continuous
    airway pressure used to keep the patient's lung alveoli open against
    virus-induced water-logging of the connective tissue," Gibby explained.

    "Perhaps the most surprising development was the addition of the
    ability to sense patient effort to take a breath and immediately switch
    to assisting the patient with that breath, known as 'assist-control'
    ventilation," Gibby said. "This is expected to allow far lighter
    sedation of patients -- potentially even no sedation." Read more.
    ARISS Experiments with School Contacts Using "Multipoint Telebridge"
    Approach

    Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is hoping to
    adopt a concept it's calling the "multipoint telebridge contact via
    amateur radio" that will allow stay-at-home students to take part in
    amateur radio contacts with members of the space station crew. Its
    initial success on an April 30 contact with youngsters in Northern
    Virginia should provide some impetus for the initiative.

    ARISS has used telebridge stations in the past to enable contacts at
    times when the ISS orbit does not pass overhead to permit a direct
    radio contact with the school or other location. In a conventional
    ARISS telebridge contact, an amateur station ground station in a
    favorable location for an ISS pass on the scheduled day makes the
    contact and handles two-way audio between the station and the contact
    site. ARISS said its new multipoint telebridge approach permits
    simultaneous reception by families, school faculty, and the public.

    "During the last several weeks, efforts to contain the spread of the
    COVID-19 virus have resulted in massive school closures worldwide,"
    ARISS said this week in a news release. "In addition, the stay-at-home
    policies invoked by authorities initially shut down opportunities for
    ARISS school contacts for the near future."

    The April 30 event involved 5-to-10-year old pupils. Fred Kemmerer,
    AB1OC, in Hollis, New Hampshire, who served as the telebridge ground
    station, linked with a ISS crew member via radio. Homebound students
    and their teacher were able to take part individually via the
    telebridge network. Under the teacher's direction, each at-home student
    was to take a turn to ask the astronaut one question on a prepared
    list, although unrelated technical issues aboard the ISS curtailed the
    contact.

    "This approach is a huge pivot for ARISS, but we feel it is a great
    strategic move," said ARISS-International Chair Frank Bauer, KA3HDO.
    "In these times of isolation due to the virus, these ARISS connections
    provide a fantastic psychological boost to students, families,
    educators, and the public. And they continue our longstanding efforts
    to inspire, engage, and educate students in STEAM [science, technology,
    engineering, the arts, and mathematics] subjects and encourage them to
    pursue STEAM careers." -- Thanks to ARISS

    Resolving Sunspot Number Confusion

    Recently, well-known contester and DXer Frank Donovan, W3LPL, reviewed
    NOAA's official updated solar cycle prediction. Noted propagation
    authority Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA, followed up.

    In his discussion, Donovan commented that the International Sunspot
    Number is typically about one-third lower than the Space Weather
    Prediction Center (SWPC) sunspot number. There's a good reason for this
    discrepancy, and it should be resolved in the near future. Let's look
    at how we got into this confusing situation, and what the solution is.

    The Space Weather Prediction Center.

    We have sunspot records back to Solar Cycle 1 (and even earlier). The
    official sunspot number originally came out of Zurich, but now
    originates from the Royal Observatory of Belgium. In 1848, Rudolf Wolf
    devised the equation for the sunspot number. It involves the number of
    sunspot groups, the total number of individual spots in all the groups,
    and a variable scale factor. We were happy with this until 2011, when
    the first of four workshops were held to review the sunspot data due to
    concerns that the scale factor may have been skewing the data. The
    result of the four workshops was an entirely new sunspot record.

    The biggest difference is the scale factor of 0.6 that had been used
    and is no longer considered valid, based on corroborating data. This
    change raised the revised (Version 2.0) data over the former (Version
    1.0) data by 1/0.6. The Royal Observatory of Belgium started reporting
    Version 2.0 sunspot numbers on July 1, 2015. Keep in mind that the V2.0
    record all the way back to Cycle 1 changed, too). Now, if we go to the
    Table of Recent Solar Indices (Preliminary) of Observed Monthly Mean
    Values' in the data tab, we'll see the following SWPC predictions.
    Columns 1 and 2 are the year and month. Columns 3, 4, and 5 are the
    monthly mean sunspot numbers per Space Weather Operations (with the
    SWPC), per the Royal Observatory of Belgium (RI is also known as the
    International Sunspot Number), and the ratio between the two. Columns 6
    and 7 are the smoothed sunspot numbers per SWO and per the Royal
    Observatory of Belgium (RI). Note that the [IMG]smoothed sunspot
    numbers are 6 months behind the monthly mean sunspot numbers. That's
    because of how the smoothed sunspot number is determined.

    So, the discrepancy that W3LPL talked about is between the SWO values
    and the RI values; the SWO group never applied the 0.6 scale factor to
    its sunspot count, and thus the SWO values are essentially the Royal
    Observatory of Belgium Version 2.0 data. The RI values reported by SWO
    are the Royal Observatory of Belgium Version 1.0 data. In the graph,
    the V1.0 data is in blue and the V2.0 data is in orange. The SWO data
    (in gray) indeed follows the V2.0 data, and the RI data, in yellow,
    follows the V1.0 data.

    To resolve this discrepancy going forward, SWO plans to change RI to
    V2.0 data at solar minimum, when the V1.0 data should be equal, or
    extremely close, to the V2.0 data. So, the SWO data, for all intents
    and purposes, will be equal to the RI data. That should resolve the
    confusion with sunspot numbers, except for the fact that our old
    sunspot numbers, to which our propagation predictions were correlated,
    now are deemed incorrect. -- Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA
    ARRL Podcasts Schedule

    The latest episode of the On the Air podcast (Episode 4) focuses how to
    create a family emergency communications plan and includes an interview
    with Dino Papas, KL0S, about attaching coaxial connectors with crimping
    tools.

    The latest episode of the Eclectic Tech podcast (Episode 6) includes an
    interview with ARRL Assistant Laboratory Manager Bob Allison, WB1GCM,
    about key clicks and a discussion with NCJ editor Scott Wright, K0MD,
    about artificial intelligence software and amateur radio.

    The On the Air and Eclectic Tech podcasts are sponsored by Icom. Both
    podcasts are available on iTunes (iOS) and Stitcher (Android) as well
    as on Blubrry -- On the Air | Eclectic Tech.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------


    The K7RA Solar Update

    Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, reports: Several sunspots put in appearances
    this week. Sunspot numbers on April 25 - 29 were 11, 14, 12, 0, and 24,
    for a weekly average of 8.7. Average daily solar flux barely moved --
    from 69 to 69.2.

    Geomagnetic activity remains quiet, with average daily planetary A
    index declining from 7.3 to 5.6.

    Predicted solar flux is 70 on April 30 - May 6; 69 on May 7 - 16; 70 on
    May 17 - 31; 69 on June 1 - 12, and 70 on June 13.

    Predicted planetary A index is 8 on April 30 - May 2; 5 on May 3 - 17;
    10 and 8 on May 18 - 19; 5 on May 20 - 23; 8 on May 24 - 27; 5 on May
    28 - 31; 12 on June 1, and 5 on June 2 - 13.

    Sunspot numbers for April 23 - 29 were 0, 0, 11, 14, 12, 0, and 24, for
    a mean of 8.7. The 10.7-centimeter flux was 68.7, 69.7, 68.9, 69.2, 69,
    69, and 69.9, for a mean of 69.2. Estimated planetary A indices were 4,
    8, 5, 6, 7, 6, and 3, with a mean of 5.6. Middle latitude A index was
    4, 6, 5, 5, 6, 6, and 4, with a mean of 5.1.

    A comprehensive K7RA Solar Update is posted Fridays on the ARRL
    website. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the
    ARRL Technical Information Service, read "What the Numbers Mean...,"
    and check out K9LA's Propagation Page.

    A propagation bulletin archive is available. Monthly charts offer
    propagation projections between the US and a dozen DX locations.

    Share your reports and observations.
    Just Ahead in Radiosport
    * May 1 -- AGCW QRP/QRP Party (CW)
    * May 2 -- RCC Cup (CW, phone)
    * May 2 -- Microwave Spring Sprint (CW, phone)
    * May 2 -- FISTS Spring Slow Speed Sprint (CW)
    * May 2 - 3 -- 7th Call Area QSO Party (CW, phone)
    * May 2 - 3 -- Indiana QSO Party (CW, phone)
    * May 2 - 3 -- Delaware QSO Party (CW, phone)
    * May 2 - 3 -- New England QSO Party (CW, phone)
    * May 2 - 3 -- Araucaria World Wide VHF Contest (CW, phone)
    * May 2 - 3 -- 10-10 International Spring Contest (CW)
    * May 2 - 3 -- SBMS 2.3 GHz and Up Contest (CW, phone)
    * May 2 - 3 -- ARI International DX Contest (CW, phone, digital)
    * May 4 -- RSGB 80-Meter Club Championship, SSB
    * May 4 - 5 -- MIE 33 Contest (CW, phone)
    * May 5 -- ARS Spartan Sprint (CW)
    * May 7 -- NRAU 10-Meter Activity Contest (CW, phone)
    * May 7 -- SKCC Sprint Europe (CW)

    See the ARRL Contest Calendar for more information. For in-depth
    reporting on amateur radio contesting, subscribe to The ARRL Contest
    Update via your ARRL member profile email preferences.

    Radio Amateur Finds Another "Zombie Satellite"

    British Columbia radio amateur Scott Tilley, VE7TIL, has found another
    "zombie satellite," as he calls them. This time, he tracked and
    identified radio signals from the experimental UHF military
    communication satellite LES-5. Tilley says he found the satellite in
    what he called a geostationary "graveyard" orbit after noting a
    modulated carrier on 236.7487 MHz.

    "Most zombie satellites are satellites that are no longer under human
    control, or have failed to some degree," Tilley told National Public
    Radio (NPR) earlier this month. It's not clear whether LES-5 is still
    capable of receiving commands.

    LES-5 was built by MIT's Lincoln Laboratory and launched in 1967 as
    part of the military's Tactical Satellite Communication Program. It was
    supposed to shut down in 1972, but it continues to operate as long as
    its solar panels are facing the sun.

    What intrigued Tilley about LES-5 was that it might be the oldest
    functioning geostationary satellite in space. After British Columbia
    went on lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tilley found himself
    with a lot of free time for such a search. He located LES-5 on March
    24.

    LES-5 under construction.

    From his home in Roberts Creek, British Columbia, Tilley, an amateur
    astronomer, routinely scans the skies for radio signals from classified
    objects orbiting Earth. Since he started, he's located dozens of secret
    or unlisted satellites.

    In 2018, while hunting for an undisclosed US government spacecraft lost
    in a launch mishap, he spotted the signature of IMAGE (Imager for
    Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration), a NASA spacecraft believed
    to have died in December 2005. The discovery delighted space
    scientists. NASA and another ham in the UK confirmed his finding.
    Launched in 2000 on a mission to monitor space weather, IMAGE mapped
    plasma patterns around Earth.
    Frequency Measuring Test Results Posted

    The results of the spring 2020 Frequency Measuring Test (FMT),
    conducted on April 24, have been posted. Coming in at the top of the
    list for stations entering readings of both the 40-meter and 80-meter
    frequencies was Steve Cerwin, WA5FRF. His average error rate was
    0.004902 parts per million (ppm). The Top 10 looked like this, with
    average error rates in ppm. Bill De Carle, VE2IQ, has posted a ranked
    list of participants who submitted readings for both frequencies.

    +-----------------------------------------------------+
    |1. |WA5FRF |0.004902 |
    |------------+-------------------+--------------------|
    |2. |WA2IKL |0.005584 |
    |------------+-------------------+--------------------|
    |3. |N7WS |0.005636 |
    |------------+-------------------+--------------------|
    |4. |N9CIF |0.006999 |
    |------------+-------------------+--------------------|
    |5. |NJ0U |0.007051 |
    |------------+-------------------+--------------------|
    |6. |N8OBJ |0.007655 |
    |------------+-------------------+--------------------|
    |7. |AD5MT |0.008415 |
    |------------+-------------------+--------------------|
    |8. |KB3UMD |0.008415 |
    |------------+-------------------+--------------------|
    |9. |WB6RJH |0.008492 |
    |------------+-------------------+--------------------|
    |10 |AB4RS |0.009174 |
    +-----------------------------------------------------+

    Today's FMTs are conducted completely online, with no manual
    log-checking or intervention. Connie Marshall, K5CM, provides Bruce
    Horn, WA7BNM, with the precise actual frequencies, participating
    individuals submit their measurements, and machines handle the rest.
    Ninety-eight radio amateurs took part in the April 2020 FMT. The next
    FMT will take place in November.

    Taking part in the FMT does not require special laboratory equipment.
    Modern HF transceivers can measure frequency quite accurately, and
    SDR-based receivers and available software can enable precise frequency
    measurements. Today's FMT leaders are able to accurately measure beyond
    the number of decimal places (out to five) that a typical transceiver
    will display, however.

    Some information on how to measure the frequency of a carrier is
    available on Marshall's website, as well as in past articles in QST.
    Visit the FMT-Nuts discussion group on groups.io. Read more.

    Hams in India Provide Communication Assistance during COVID-19 Pandemic

    According to a report in The New Indian Express, amateur radio
    operators in Kerala have joined the fight against COVID-19. The
    newspaper said the district administration has enlisted radio amateurs
    to improve important communication between departments and offices.
    Over 20 hams, organized into teams, are involved. Radio Amateur Society
    of Ananthapuri President Dr. Zakheer Hussain, VU3OOH, said using ham
    radio during the time of crisis would help coordinate crucial
    communication.

    "We have assigned our teams at the district medical office and taluk
    [administrative subdivision] offices," Hussain told the paper. "We have
    a team at the district administration, which is the center of all
    action." He said help lines now in operation receive many calls,
    including distress calls. "If anyone is in need of emergency medical
    care, we immediately inform the respective taluk office and the
    ambulance desk, so that help reaches in time," he said.

    The Times of India reports that a radio amateur in West Bengal drove 98
    kilometers (61 miles) to deliver medicine to an elderly resident of
    Rahara. "We have been providing assistance to people ever since the
    lockdown was announced," said Raju Biswas, VU2JFA, the secretary of the
    West Bengal Radio Club.

    The Telegraph newspaper in India reported an anecdote regarding a
    homeless woman who showed up when Swaraj Ghosh, VU3URP, was
    distributing food for people on the streets. He contacted Biswas, who,
    in turn, got in touch with radio amateurs in the woman's hometown. They
    were able to contact her father, who had been looking for her.
    Garmin Seeks FCC Ruling or Waiver to Obtain Certification for Part
    95/Part 25 Device

    The FCC is seeking public comment on an April 24 request by Garmin
    International for a declaratory ruling or a rules waiver to obtain
    equipment certification for a handheld unit that combines a low-power,
    terrestrial Part 95 Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS) transmitter and a
    Part 25 emergency satellite communication module in the same device.
    Section 95.2761(c) precludes combining MURS transmitting capabilities
    in equipment that is also capable of transmitting in another service,
    with the exception of Part 15 unlicensed services.

    Garmin's proposed product is a handheld unit that will include two
    transmitters: a low-power MURS transmitter for short-range terrestrial
    communication, and a previously certified Part 25 module that will
    allow emergency communication via the Iridium satellite system under a
    blanket license held by Iridium. End users would have to subscribe to
    the Iridium service.

    Garmin argues that the purpose of the original equipment authorization
    restriction was "to prevent consumer confusion with other terrestrial
    services that either had different licensing regimes or were for
    different types of communications" and that it is inappropriate in this
    case. Garmin asserts that a waiver would serve the public interest
    because "the certified Part 25 module in the MURS unit would allow
    emergency communications to the outside world at the push of a button."
    The FCC seeks comment on the waiver request.

    Comments are due by May 28, with reply comments due by June 13.
    Interested parties may file short comments via the FCC's Electronic
    Comment Filing Service (Express). Visit the FCC's "How to Comment on
    FCC Proceedings" page for information on filing extended comments.
    RSGB Aims to Promote Health and Well-Being within the Amateur Radio
    Community

    The Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) has launched a major campaign
    -- "Get on the air to care" (GOTA2C) -- in association with the UK
    National Health Service (NHS) to help promote health and well-being
    within the amateur radio community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    "Now, more than ever, we need to optimize all modes of communication to
    help reduce loneliness and isolation within communities," said Paul
    Devlin, of the NHS England Emergency Care Improvement Support Team.
    "Amateur radio provides a wonderful, unprecedented opportunity to help
    make this a reality." The RSGB is urging radio amateurs in the UK and
    around the globe to get on the air to chat and "support each other
    across the airwaves."

    Radio amateurs can "get on the air to care" with a simple handheld
    transceiver.

    RSGB General Manager Steve Thomas, M1ACB, said, "We want this campaign
    to inspire even more to get involved and also to use #GOTA2C when they
    share photos, videos, and news of what they're doing on social media."

    Devlin said that GB1NHS, the UK's National Health Service ham station,
    gives the NHS "the ability to reach communities anywhere in the world,
    regardless of geographic location or connection to domestic power
    supplies, land lines, cell phone, or internet services. It will be on
    the air as part of this campaign, so listen out for it!"

    ARRL has been promoting its "Stay Safe and Stay on The Air" initiative
    in some of its media outlets, using the hashtag #StayOnTheAir, as a way
    to counter online fatigue and social isolation. Read more. -- Thanks to
    Heather Parsons, RSGB Communications Manager
    Announcements
    * The 2020 Central States VHF Society (CSVHFS) conference, set for
    July, has been put off until next year -- July 30 - 31, 2021. The
    conference hotel is not yet ready to accept 2021 reservations.
    * Contest University (CTU), a staple of Dayton Hamvention week, will
    take place online this year through the Zoom video platform, and
    all sessions will be free. Visit the CTU website to register. Live
    CTU sessions via Zoom will get under way on Thursday, May 14, 1245
    UTC, and will be recorded and archived. -- Thanks to CTU Chair Tim
    Duffy, K3LR
    * The ARRL New England Division Convention, hosted by the Northeast
    HamXposition at its new location in Marlborough, Massachusetts, has
    been postponed until November 6 - 8 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    The show had been scheduled for July.
    * Icom has announced that delivery of its new IC-705 HF - 430 MHz
    all-mode 10 W transceiver, scheduled for release last month, has
    been pushed back to later this year because the coronavirus
    pandemic has delayed the delivery of some components.
    * The Vienna International Center in Austria has authorized the call
    sign 4U2STAYHOME for use by the UN Amateur Radio Contest DX Club,
    4U1A, to promote amateur radio goodwill and over-the-air social
    networking. QSL cards go to UA3DX. Contacts with 4U2STAYHOME count
    for both CMA and SHA awards. -- Thanks to The Daily DX

    Getting It Right

    The news brief "Welsh Radio Amateur Heard Titanic Distress Call, But
    Authorities Did Not Believe Him" in the April 23 edition of The ARRL
    Letter repeated a myth regarding the now-obsolete CQD distress signal.
    It was not an acronym for "come quickly, distress."
    Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Note: Many conventions and hamfests have been canceled or postponed due
    to the coronavirus pandemic. Check the calendar of canceled events on
    the ARRL website.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    * May 9 -- MicroHAMS Digital Conference 2020 (Virtual Event)
    * June 12 - 13 -- Ham-Com, Plano, Texas
    * June 20 -- Tennessee State Convention, Knoxville, Tennessee

    Find conventions and hamfests in your area.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    ARRL -- Your One-Stop Resource for
    Amateur Radio News and Information.

    .

    .
    * Join or Renew Today! ARRL membership includes QST, amateur radio's
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    * Listen to ARRL Audio News, available every Friday.

    Subscribe to...
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    Copyright (c) 2020 American Radio Relay League, Incorporated. Use and
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    --- SendMsg/2

    --- Squish/386 v1.11
    * Origin: Outpost BBS * Limestone, TN, USA (1:18/200)
  • From Sean Dennis@1:18/200 to All on Fri May 8 09:05:18 2020
    The ARRL Letter
    May 7, 2020

    * FCC Providing Flexibility to Volunteer Examiners in Developing
    Remote Testing Methods
    * Socially Distanced In-Person Exam Sessions Held in US and Norway
    * NASA CubeSat Array to Study Causes of Giant Solar Particle Storms
    * ARRL Podcasts Schedule
    * May/June Issue of ARRL's On the Air Magazine Now Available
    * The K7RA Solar Update
    * Just Ahead in Radiosport
    * IARU Region 2 Online Emergency Communication Workshops Under Way
    * Russian DOSAAF-85 (RS-44) Amateur Radio Satellite Transponder Now
    Active
    * Announcements
    * Top Band Stalwart Herb Schoenbohm, KV4FZ, SK
    * In Brief...
    * Getting It Right!
    * Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    COVID-19 Impact & News

    Find the latest news and information on the impact of the coronavirus
    pandemic to ARRL members and our global amateur radio community.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    FCC Providing Flexibility to Volunteer Examiners in Developing Remote
    Testing Methods

    In response to questions from the amateur radio community, the FCC has
    clarified that nothing in its rules prohibits remote amateur radio
    testing, and no prior approval is needed to conduct remote exam
    sessions.

    "The Commission provides flexibility to volunteer examiners and
    coordinators who wish to develop remote testing methods or to increase
    remote testing programs already in place," the FCC said in an April 30
    news release. "We recognize that some volunteer examiner coordinators
    may not have the immediate capacity for widespread remote testing. We
    expect those volunteer examiner coordinators with limited remote
    testing capacity to work closely with those requesting such testing to
    prioritize any available remote testing slots."

    In a tweet the next day, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai called the announcement
    "Good news for aspiring amateur radio operators."

    The FCC opened the door to remotely administered examinations in a June
    5, 2014, FCC Report and Order, noting that, since the VE system was
    established, "remote testing methods have been developed, including
    audio and video links, either hard-wired to a site or available through
    internet or satellite technologies, which would allow a VE team to
    observe an examinee from afar." The FCC ruled that allowing VEs and
    VECs the option of administering examinations remotely was warranted.
    The FCC declined to incorporate any specific requirements or conditions
    for remote testing into the rules, and made it clear that VECs and VEs
    were not required to offer remote testing.

    ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator Manager Maria Somma, AB1FM, said
    she's gratified to see that the FCC appreciates the need for remote
    testing. "Many of our VEs and VE teams have been employing remotely
    proctored exam sessions with both video and in-person components, and
    following social-distancing protocols, where necessary," she said.
    "Some ARRL VE teams have shown great promise in administering exams
    remotely." Somma also said that as states begin to lift restrictions,
    the possibility exists to restart in-person amateur radio exam
    opportunities.

    "We urge our VE teams to keep up to date so they can make informed
    decisions based on local community guidelines, as each community is
    unique," she said. "Our volunteers should use their best judgement when
    deciding whether or not to begin conducting in-person exam sessions. It
    is important to us that you feel confident when choosing your course of
    action, because the health and safety of our VEs and the examinees is
    the top priority. VE teams that choose to conduct in-person sessions
    should restart consistent with local restrictions and guidelines."

    To find amateur radio license exam sessions in your area, visit the
    ARRL website. Candidates should verify with their VE teams that the
    exam session is being held and if any special procedures are required
    to attend.
    Socially Distanced In-Person Exam Sessions Held in US and Norway

    With some states starting to relax restrictions on events and
    activities, the Grant County, Oregon, Amateur Radio Emergency Service
    (ARES^(R)) held an in-person exam session on April 26 in the town of
    John Day that adhered to social distancing recommendations.

    The open-air exam session in Grant
    County, Oregon. [Courtesy of Steve
    Fletcher, K7AA]

    Exam organizers held the gathering to within Oregon's 10-person limit
    for gatherings, keeping everyone 6 feet apart and requiring all
    participants to wear face masks. The exam session was held outdoors
    under a car port.

    "We had an exceptionally successful test session with candidates
    passing exams at every amateur radio level," said Ed Ellesson, AF7YX,
    the ARRL Volunteer Examiner Liaison for the Grant County Amateur Radio
    Club. Grant County Emergency Coordinator Steve Fletcher, K7AA, noted
    that many clubs had canceled their planned sessions due to the
    coronavirus pandemic. "Grant County decided to approach the problem by
    obeying all the restrictions but still holding the exam," he said. "As
    a result, we had people come here from all over the state."

    In Oklahoma, the Mid-Del Amateur Radio Club, W5MWC, administered an
    open-air exam session on April 25 that held to social distancing
    guidelines. Over the course of the 3-hour session, 16 candidates
    tested, and all were successful. One candidate passed all three exam
    elements to come away with his Amateur Extra-class license.

    Another open-air amateur exam session took place recently in Norway.
    The LA3F radio amateur club, south of Oslo, had just completed its
    annual course for prospective radio amateurs, and three candidates were
    ready to take their exam when Norway began shutting down activities and
    gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    Three candidates sit for their
    amateur radio exams in chilly
    spring weather in Norway.

    Not to be deterred, International Amateur Radio Union Vice President
    Ole Garpestad, LA2RR, arranged with Norwegian regulatory authorities to
    hold an outdoor exam session compatible with social distancing and
    other safety guidelines in place. Garpestad met with the three
    candidates in the forest outside a local scout cottage, and, with
    candidates seated at tables at least 5 meters (about 16 feet) apart, he
    administered the exam. With the temperature at around 10 °C (about 50
    °F), everyone dressed warmly. Garpestad reported that all three
    candidates passed, and LA5EUA, LB8QI, and LB8RI were welcomed to the
    world of amateur radio. -- Thanks to Steve Fletcher, K7AA, and Don
    Beattie, G3BJ, via IARU Region 1

    NASA CubeSat Array to Study Causes of Giant Solar Particle Storms

    A new NASA mission making use of a half-dozen CubeSats will study how
    the sun generates and releases giant space weather storms -- known as
    solar particle storms -- into planetary space.

    "Not only will such information improve understanding of how our solar
    system works, but it ultimately can help protect astronauts traveling
    to the moon and Mars by providing better information on how the sun's
    radiation affects the space environment they must travel through," NASA
    said of the new Sun Radio Interferometer Space Experiment

    NASA's SunRISE mission will study
    what drives solar particle storms.
    [NASA, image]

    (SunRISE) project. The mission will involve an array of six CubeSats
    operating as one very large radio telescope. NASA has awarded $62.6
    million to design, build, and launch SunRISE as early as mid-2023.

    NASA chose SunRISE in August 2017 as one of two Mission of Opportunity
    proposals to conduct an 11-month mission concept study. In February
    2019, the agency approved a continued formulation study of the mission
    for an additional year. SunRISE is led by Justin Kasper at the
    University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and managed by NASA's Jet
    Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.

    "We are so pleased to add a new mission to our fleet of spacecraft that
    help us better understand the sun, as well as how our star influences
    the space environment between planets," said Nicola Fox, director of
    NASA's Heliophysics Division. "The more we know about how the Sun
    erupts with space weather events, the more we can mitigate their
    effects on spacecraft and astronauts."

    The six solar-powered CubeSats will simultaneously observe radio images
    of low-frequency emissions (0.1 - 25 MHz) from solar activity and share
    them via NASA's Deep Space Network. The constellation of CubeSats would
    fly within 6 miles of each other. The CubeSats will create 3D maps to
    pinpoint where giant particle bursts originate on the Sun and how they
    evolve as they expand outward into space. This, in turn, will help
    determine what initiates and accelerates these giant jets of radiation.
    The six individual spacecraft will also work together to map -- for the
    first time -- the pattern of magnetic field lines reaching from the sun
    out into interplanetary space.

    NASA's Missions of Opportunity pair new, relatively inexpensive
    missions with previously approved host launches.
    ARRL Podcasts Schedule

    The latest episode of the On the Air podcast (Episode 4) focuses on how
    to create a family emergency communications plan and includes an
    interview with Dino Papas, KL0S, about attaching coaxial connectors
    with crimping tools.

    The latest episode of the Eclectic Tech podcast (Episode 7) debuts
    Thursday, with a discussion of HF aeronautical radio, the NCDXF beacon
    system, SpaceX's new Starlink satellites, and "Folding@home," a system
    that uses distributed computing to search for a COVID-19 cure (among
    other things).

    The On the Air and Eclectic Tech podcasts are sponsored by Icom. Both
    podcasts are available on iTunes (iOS) and Stitcher (Android) as well
    as on Blubrry -- On the Air | Eclectic Tech.

    May/June Issue of ARRL's On the Air Magazine Now Available

    The May/June digital edition of ARRL's On the Air magazine is now
    available. Read it and other ARRL digital publications by browsing to
    the ARRL Magazines page. In this issue:
    * Tips for better repeater operating
    * Understanding modulation
    * Go-kit basics
    * Building a portable antenna mount
    * Shopping for a mobile radio

    ...and much more!

    You can also read the issue on your Apple, Android, or Kindle device by
    using the ARRL Magazines app.
    The K7RA Solar Update

    Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, reports: We haven't seen a sunspot since
    Thursday, April 30, when the daily sunspot number was 35 -- a
    relatively high sunspot number. In fact, the daily sunspot number has
    not been that high since March 21, 2019, when it hit 49. Prior to that,
    we'd need to look back to June 22, 2018, when the daily sunspot number
    was 41. This, and the fact that last week's sunspots showed new Solar
    Cycle 25 polarity, gives me reason for optimism. I expect solar
    activity to increase, and with it HF propagation.

    The average daily sunspot number for last week was 5, down from 8.7 the
    previous 7 days. The average daily solar flux rose from 69.2 to 69.5.
    The average daily planetary A index declined from 5.6 to 5.1, and
    average middle latitude A index slipped from 5.1 to 5.

    Predicted solar flux over the next 45 days is 70 from May 7 until June
    20. The predicted planetary A index is 5 on May 7 - 11; 8 on May 12; 5
    on May 13 - 17; 10 and 8 on May 18 - 19; 5 on May 20 - 23; 8 on May 24
    - 27; 5 on May 28 - 30; 8, 10, and 8 on May 31 - June 2; 5 on June 3 -
    13; 10 and 8 on June 14 - 15, and 5 on June 16 - 20.

    So, there you have it: A nice steady solar flux above the 60s for the
    next month and a half, and stable geomagnetic conditions too.

    In this week's bulletin, expect a report from Jon Jones, N0JK,
    concerning his 6-meter MSK144 mode contacts during the recent meteor
    shower.

    Sunspot numbers for April 30 through May 6 were 35, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, and
    0, for a mean of 5. The 10.7-centimeter flux was 69.8, 70.2, 69.2,
    68.7, 69.3, 69.3, and 69.8, with a mean of 69.5. Estimated planetary A
    indices were 2, 6, 5, 5, 6, 6, and 6, with a mean of 5.1. Middle
    latitude A index was 1, 5, 3, 5, 8, 7, and 6, with a mean of 5.

    A comprehensive K7RA Solar Update is posted Fridays on the ARRL
    website. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the
    ARRL Technical Information Service, read "What the Numbers Mean...,"
    and check out K9LA's Propagation Page.

    A propagation bulletin archive is available. Monthly charts offer
    propagation projections between the US and a dozen DX locations.

    Share your reports and observations.

    Just Ahead in Radiosport
    * May 9 - 10 -- SARL VHF/UHF Digital Contest
    * May 9 - 10 -- CQ-M International DX Contest (CW, phone)
    * May 9 - 10 -- VOLTA WW RTTY Contest
    * May 9 - 10 -- SKCC Weekend Sprintathon (CW)
    * May 9 - 10 -- Arkansas QSO Party (CW, phone)
    * May 9 - 10 -- FISTS Spring Unlimited Sprint (CW)
    * May 9 - 10 -- 50 MHz Spring Sprint (CW, phone)
    * May 10 -- WAB 7 MHz Phone/CW
    * May 11 -- 4 States QRP Group Second Sunday Sprint (CW, phone)
    * May 13 -- RSGB 80-Meter Club Championship, Data

    See the ARRL Contest Calendar for more information. For in-depth
    reporting on amateur radio contesting, subscribe to The ARRL Contest
    Update via your ARRL member profile email preferences.
    IARU Region 2 Online Emergency Communication Workshops Under Way

    International Amateur Radio Union Region 2 (IARU R2) virtual emergency
    communication workshops got under way on April 29, when the first of
    the programs in English and Spanish, "What is Winlink and its
    Importance during Emergency Communications," was presented in Spanish.
    Workshop presenter Alfonso Tamez, XE2O, of the Mexican Federation of
    Radio Amateurs, offered insights into the usefulness and application of
    WinLink during emergencies, based on his ample experience, offering
    participants an understanding of the importance of having such a tool
    available during an emergency.

    Signups for the workshops have been brisk, with more than 180
    participants from at least 18 IARU Region 2 countries registered. A
    question-and-answer session followed the formal April 29 presentation,
    conducted using the Zoom web-conferencing platform as well as through
    IARU Region 2's YouTube Workshops channel. The workshops are free of
    charge.

    Workshop participants expressed their satisfaction as well as a desire
    to continue with more workshops as soon as possible. An
    English-language presentation of the same workshop took place on May 6.
    Signing up for future workshops must be done online and not via email.

    The IARU-R2 Executive Committee appointed Augusto Gabaldoni, OA4DOH, as
    workshops coordinator to set up processes for the initial group of
    workshop sessions and to develop and manage ongoing workshops for radio
    amateurs in IARU-R2.

    Here is the schedule for the remaining workshops:
    * Wednesday, May 13, 2300 UTC (tentative): EmCom -- Winlink 101 in
    English, targeting US and Canadian radio amateurs. Instructors are
    Mike Burton, N6KZB, and Jason Tremblay, VE3JXT.
    * Wednesday, May 20, 2300 UTC (tentative): Satellite Communications
    101 in Spanish, aimed at radio amateurs in Latin America and the
    Caribbean. Instructors are Matias Graino, LU9CBL, and Guillermo
    Guerra, XQ3SA.
    * Wednesday, May 27, 2300 UTC (tentative): Satellite Communications
    101 in English, targeting radio amateurs in the US, Canada, and the
    Caribbean. Instructor will be announced.

    Contact Gabaldoni with requests for future workshop topics, volunteer
    speakers, or other comments or suggestions.

    Russian DOSAAF-85 (RS-44) Amateur Radio Satellite Transponder Now
    Active

    The amateur radio linear transponder (SSB/CW) on the Russian DOSAAF-85
    (RS-44) has been activated. Dmitry Pashkov, R4UAB, explains that RS-85
    is a small scientific satellite built by specialists at Information
    Satellite Systems and students at Siberian State Aerospace University
    (SibSAU). The satellite's name commemorates the 85th anniversary of the
    Voluntary Society for the Assistance to the Army, Aviation, and Navy
    (DOSAAF), the organization responsible for the military training of
    Soviet youth.

    This is the third satellite created by the specialists of ISS-Reshetnev
    and is based on the Yubileyniy platform, which features a hexagonal
    prism structure with body-mounted solar cells. It was launched into
    orbit last December 26 from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome and is in an
    elliptical orbit with a perigee of 1,175 kilometers (729 miles), an
    apogee of 1,511 kilometers (937 miles), and an inclination of 82.5°.
    Transmitter power is 5 W, and the beacon is on 435.605 MHz (identifying
    as RS-44).

    The transponder is inverting, with uplink centered at 145.965 MHz ±30
    kHz, and downlink centered at 435.640 MHz ±30 kHz. Logbook of The World
    (LoTW) accepts DOSAAF-85 contacts under "RS-44."
    Announcements
    * Ham-Com Cancels 2020 Show Ham-Com will not take place in 2020, due
    to the COVID-19 pandemic. Payments made to Ham-Com for the 2020
    event for general admission, vendor booths, and flea market tables
    will be rolled to the 2021 event.
    * AMSAT-NA has opened a new membership portal. In addition, a
    full-color PDF version of the March/April 2020 The AMSAT Journal is
    now available to all, because AMSAT's Headquarters office is closed
    due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and The AMSAT Journal was not printed
    and mailed. -- Thanks to AMSAT News Service
    * An update of the popular MMSSTV slow-scan television (SSTV)
    software is now available. Eugenio Fernández, EA1ADA, has given the
    revamped MMSSTV program the nickname of YONIQ. It is available in
    English and Spanish. The software offers several improvements.
    Download YONIQ by clicking on the link "Descarga de MMSSTV 1.13
    YONIQ" on the Grupo Radio Galena website.

    Top Band Stalwart Herb Schoenbohm, KV4FZ, SK

    A fixture on 160 meters, Herb Schoenbohm, KV4FZ, of Christiansted,
    Virgin Islands, died on April 29. An ARRL member, he was 84. Licensed
    in 1954 as W0VXO, Schoenbohm became KV4FZ after relocating to the US
    Virgin Islands to further his career as a sales representative for
    broadcast equipment manufacturers on the international market,
    primarily in Latin America.

    A regular participant in 160-meter contests, Schoenbohm -- especially
    during his early years in the Virgin Islands -- provided many DXers
    with a new DXCC entity, as that band opened up to routine operation in
    the wake of government restrictions to protect the LORAN navigation
    system in that region of the spectrum. Schoenbohm was among the first
    top-band operators to earn DXCC on 160 meters, and his signal
    frequently served as a beacon from the Caribbean during contests. He
    was also active in emergency communications and earned praise for his
    efforts during hurricane disasters affecting the Virgin Islands,
    receiving a Governor's Medal in 1990 for supporting communication after
    Hurricane Hugo.

    Schoenbohm ran afoul of the FCC in 1994, when the Commission designated
    his license renewal application for a hearing following a 1992 felony
    conviction on federal fraud charges. The FCC subsequently denied his
    renewal in 1998, the US Appeals Court upheld the decision in 2000, and
    the US Supreme Court declined to hear the case later that same year. He
    applied for a new license in 2001, and an FCC ministrative Law Judge
    cleared the way for Schoenbohm's return to ham radio.

    Schoenbohm was active in Republican Party politics, representing the US
    Virgin Islands at the Republican National Convention from 1980 until
    2012, and serving as a member of the Platform Committee in 2008 and
    2012.

    He retired following a 30-year career working for the government of the
    US Virgin Islands.
    In Brief...

    The FCC has adopted a new official seal. The redesigned seal is the
    product of an agency-wide contest that solicited proposals from
    employees and contractors. The winning design was selected by a vote of
    the agency's employees and contractors. The revised design incorporates
    several elements: communications technologies currently transforming
    our world; four stars on the outer seal border, drawing from the legacy
    of the predecessor Federal Radio Commission seal; 18 stars on the
    shield, recognizing the current number of bureaus and offices, and the
    eagle and shield, identifying the FCC as a federal government agency.
    The FCC will incorporate the new seal on official stationery, business
    cards, publications, and other materials, including on its website and
    throughout its new Headquarters. Official use of the new seal will
    begin following completion of the agency's move to its new
    Headquarters. The date of the move is up in the air, delayed due to
    COVID-19. -- FCC news release

    AMSAT is soliciting candidate nominations for the 2020 Board of
    Directors Election set for later this year. Successful candidates will
    fill the seats of three incumbent Directors whose 2-year terms expire
    in 2020: Tom Clark, K3IO; Mark Hammond, N8MH, and Bruce Paige, KK5DO.
    AMSAT members may further elect up to two Alternate Directors for
    1-year terms. Valid Director nominations must be in writing and require
    either one "member-society" or five current individual members in good
    standing to nominate an AMSAT member. Send written nominations -- in
    electronic form, including email, or electronic image of a paper
    document -- including the nominee's name, call sign, and contact
    information, as well as the nominators' names, call signs, and contact
    information, to AMSAT Secretary Brennan Price, N4QX, 300 Locust St. SE,
    Unit E, Vienna, VA 22180-4869, with a copy to AMSAT Manager Martha
    Saragovitz. Fax transmissions cannot be accepted, because the AMSAT
    office is closed. Petitions must be received no later than June 15.

    Several special event stations are on the air to mark 75 years since
    the end of World War II. In the UK, GB4VVV ("V for victory"), and G0SFJ
    will operate through May 11. Listen for GB75VET through May 28. The
    Guernsey Amateur Radio Society is operating GU75LIB May 6 - 12 to mark
    the liberation of Guernsey in World War II. The RSGB Contest Club will
    field special call signs GB1945PE, GB1945PJ, and GB75PEACE through May
    and again during August 1 - 31 to mark victory in Europe and Japan.
    From Norway, LI8MAI celebrates the end of World War II in Europe on May
    8, 1945. Operation will continue through the end of May. From Israel,
    4Z75V and 4X75V will be on the air until May 10. From Serbia, listen
    for YT5DP until May 31. Many Russian stations will use special prefix
    RP75 until May 9. The letter P stands for "pobeda," which means
    "victory." This is not intended to be a comprehensive list of special
    event stations marking the end of World War II. -- Thanks to The Daily
    DX

    The Virginia Tech camera on AO-92 has taken stunning photos of Earth.
    With additional passes planned, the Virginia Tech camera onboard AO-92
    (Fox-1D) has been activated on at least two passes over North America.
    Several photos were taken, captured by amateur stations running
    FoxTelem, and uploaded to the AMSAT website. All of the photos taken by
    AO-92 can be viewed on the AMSAT website at the link. The Virginia Tech
    camera remains active for 45 minutes after being enabled by a ground
    station. Stations in the US, the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central and
    South America are encouraged to set their stations up to receive and
    upload high-speed telemetry in FoxTelem. -- Thanks to AMSAT News
    Service via AMSAT Vice President-Operations Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA

    Well-Known VHF/UHF/Microwave enthusiast and mentor Dick Knadle, K2RIW,
    of Dix Hills, New York, has died. An ARRL Life Member, he was 80.
    Knadle was revered as a technical resource and mentor for the
    VHF/UHF/microwave community and was the 2010 ARRL Technical Achievement
    Award winner. His antenna and amplifier designs were widely copied.
    Knadle was a member of the Long Island Mobile Amateur Radio Club
    (LIMARC) for nearly 40 years. He held a bachelor's degree in electrical
    engineering for RF communications from Pratt Institute and was Senior
    Staff Engineer at Airborne Instrument Labs from 1964 to 2000. For many
    years, he served as the net control station for the Tech Net on the
    LIMARC repeaters.
    Getting It Right!

    The number of participants was not correctly stated in the news article
    "Frequency Measuring Test Results Posted," in the April 30 edition of
    The ARRL Letter. The article should have reflected that 140 individuals
    took part, and 98 of them submitted readings for both the 80- and
    40-meter frequencies to better than 1 ppm.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Note: Many conventions and hamfests have been canceled or postponed due
    to the coronavirus pandemic. Check the calendar of canceled events on
    the ARRL website.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    * May 9 -- MicroHAMS Digital Conference 2020 (Virtual Event)
    * June 20 -- Tennessee State Convention, Knoxville, Tennessee
    * July 4 - Pennsylvania State Convention, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
    * July 16 -19 - Montana State Convention, Essex, Montana
    * July 24 - 25 - Oklahoma State Convention, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

    Find conventions and hamfests in your area.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    ARRL -- Your One-Stop Resource for
    Amateur Radio News and Information.

    .

    .
    * Join or Renew Today! ARRL membership includes QST, amateur radio's
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    * Listen to ARRL Audio News, available every Friday.

    Subscribe to...
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    articles by top contesters, letters, hints, statistics, scores, NA
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    * QEX -- A Forum for Communications Experimenters. Published
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    Free of charge to ARRL members...
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    Copyright (c) 2020 American Radio Relay League, Incorporated. Use and
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    --- SendMsg/2

    --- Squish/386 v1.11
    * Origin: Outpost BBS * Limestone, TN, USA (1:18/200)
  • From Sean Dennis@1:18/200 to All on Fri May 15 09:05:18 2020
    The ARRL Letter
    May 14, 2020

    * ARRL Announces New Life 70+ Membership
    * ARRL Seeks Clarification of Amended Amateur Service RF Safety Rules
    * Choosing FTx Transmit and Receive Frequencies in Crowded Contest
    Bands
    * ARRL Podcasts Schedule
    * "ARRL at Home Hamvention" Weekend of Specials Set
    * The K7RA Solar Update
    * Just Ahead in Radiosport
    * New WSJT-X Beta Version Offers Significant FT4 and FT8 Upgrades
    * ARISS Sets Second Test of New Multipoint Telebridge Contact System
    * Two New Chinese Ham Satellites Expected to Launch in September
    * Announcements
    * Amateur Radio Gains Significant Boost in UK by Connecting People
    During Lockdown
    * In Brief...
    * Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    COVID-19 Impact & News

    Find the latest news and information on the impact of the coronavirus
    pandemic to ARRL members and our global amateur radio community.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    ARRL Announces New Life 70+ Membership

    The ARRL Board of Directors recently voted to create a special Life
    Membership opportunity for individuals who are at least 70 years old.
    Starting on June 1, the Life 70+ Membership will be available to
    individuals who have turned 70 and have a combined 25 years of paid
    annual ARRL membership.

    Life 70+ Members receive all benefits of an annual membership,
    including their choice of print magazine delivery (QST or On the Air),
    and digital access to these publications, plus the digital versions of
    QEX and National Contest Journal (NCJ). In addition, each Life 70+
    Member will receive a Life Member pin and a window decal and may
    purchase an exclusive Life Member plaque.

    Qualifying members selecting this level of membership will enjoy the
    convenience of having to make a single payment for their entire tenure
    as an ARRL Member and not be subject to any future ARRL dues increase.

    To apply for Life 70+ membership, individuals must complete the special
    Life 70+ Member application -- available on June 1 -- and submit proof
    of date of birth, if this information is not already on file with ARRL.
    The Life 70+ membership fee must be made in a single payment. Past
    membership dues payments will not apply toward Life 70+ Membership, but
    a credit will be applied for applicants who paid their dues in full
    between April 1 and May 31, 2020.

    Life 70+ Membership Dues Rates
    * $750 US Life 70+ Membership
    * $750 International Digital Life 70+ Membership
    * $1,515 International Life 70+ Membership with a Print Subscription
    * $250 Family Life 70+ Membership as an add-on to a paid Life 70+
    membership

    ARRL reserves the right to change or substitute the benefits, products,
    or services associated with a member's original Life 70+ Member package
    at any time during the membership. Dues are non-refundable.

    Life 70+ membership applications will be available for download
    beginning on June 1.
    ARRL Seeks Clarification of Amended Amateur Service RF Safety Rules

    ARRL has filed a Petition for Clarification addressing two issues
    arising from amended FCC RF safety rules that go into effect on June 1
    for the Amateur Service and other FCC-regulated services. Licensees
    will have 2 years to determine if an RF safety evaluation is now
    required under the new rules and to perform an evaluation and implement
    any needed mitigation measures. Current rules already require amateur
    stations to meet RF exposure limits, but more radio amateurs will have
    to evaluate their stations under the new rules. The revised final
    rules, adopted last November, appeared in the April 1 edition of The
    Federal Register.

    "For applicants and licensees in the Amateur Radio Service, we
    substitute our general exemption criteria for the specific exemption
    from routine evaluation based on power alone in S:97.13(c)(1) and
    specify the use of occupational/controlled limits for amateurs where
    appropriate," the FCC said. While radio amateurs have always had to
    comply with RF exposure limits, certain stations have been exempted
    from having to conduct evaluations based upon power and frequency.

    On May 8, ARRL asked the FCC to clarify that using maximum permissible
    exposure (MPE) limits be permitted in the Amateur Service for required
    RF safety evaluations of 2200-meter operations, just as they are
    elsewhere in the amateur spectrum. Removal of the exemption for
    amateurs resulted in a requirement to use specific absorption rate
    (SAR) limits for amateur frequencies between 100 and 300 kHz.

    "Near-field calculation of a uniform field applied to a transmitter and
    antenna operating at 1 W EIRP on 2200 meters would result in a very
    conservative estimate of specific absorption rate (SAR) and is a valid
    measurement for determining safety of operation," ARRL told the FCC.
    "We request clarification that the rules do not intend to preclude the
    use of MPE as a surrogate for SAR to evaluate amateur operations in the
    2200-meter band."

    ARRL also wants the FCC to clarify that its amended rules permit the
    use of near-field regression rates, using the MPE table to compare
    against the maximum field strength that may occur from a handheld
    portable device, instead of using the SAR. In its filing, ARRL
    maintained that SAR data is not available for amateur equipment, as it
    is for equipment used in other services. Before the rules were amended,
    mobile and portable transmitters generally were exempt from the
    requirement to perform routine environmental evaluations.

    Under S:97.13(c)(1) as amended, effective on June 1, amateur licensees
    must ensure compliance with FCC RF exposure requirements spelled out in
    sections 1.1307(b), 2.1091, and 2.1093 of the FCC rules, where
    applicable. The rule directs radio amateurs to OET Bulletin 65,
    Supplement B for methodologies and guidance to evaluate amateur radio
    operation.

    The FCC has provided 2 years -- until May 31, 2022 -- for licensees to
    determine if evaluations are now required, to perform such evaluations
    where necessary, and to implement any needed mitigation measures.

    The FCC did not amend the actual RF exposure limits that were adopted
    in 1996. Read more.

    Choosing FTx Transmit and Receive Frequencies in Crowded Contest Bands

    Here's how to pick FT-mode transmit and receive frequencies in crowded
    contest bands. First, pick an audio offset frequency greater than 500
    Hz, but less than the suggested frequency intervals (e.g., 2 kHz). In
    crowded band conditions, the "base" transmit frequencies for FT4 or FT8
    are suggested to be at 2 kHz intervals. For example, some stations may
    set their radio's frequency to 14.130 MHz, while others are at 14.132
    or 14.134 MHz. Under these conditions, it makes sense to choose a
    transmit frequency offset greater than 500 Hz, but less than 2 kHz.

    Here's the reasoning: If the CQing station chooses 14.130.0 with an
    offset of 2.4 kHz, then a listening station's radio tuned to 14.132.0
    will "see" that station at 400 Hz. Many radios have audio passbands of
    between 500 Hz and 3,000 Hz. Frequencies outside that range are not
    received as well. A reduced sensitivity at 400 Hz can make the
    difference in decoding successfully.

    The station answering the CQ (radio at 14.132.0 MHz) should likely pick
    a frequency at or near the CQ frequency, since the operator doesn't
    know whether the CQing station's frequency is at 14.130 or 14.132. If
    the receiving station chooses, say, 1.5 kHz, this would be at 14.133.5.
    A CQing station set to 14.130 may not be decoding all the way to 3.5
    kHz from the radio's offset frequency. -- Thanks to The ARRL Contest
    Update
    ARRL Podcasts Schedule

    The latest episode of the On the Air podcast (Episode 5) focuses on the
    various types of modulation and tips on go kits. The On the Air podcast
    is a monthly companion to On the Air magazine, ARRL's magazine for
    beginner-to-intermediate ham radio operators.

    The latest episode of the Eclectic Tech podcast (Episode 7) includes a
    discussion of HF aeronautical radio, the NCDXF beacon system, SpaceX's
    new Starlink satellites, and "Folding@Home," a system that uses
    distributed computing to search for a COVID-19 cure (among other
    things).

    The On the Air and Eclectic Tech podcasts are sponsored by Icom. Both
    podcasts are available on iTunes (iOS) and Stitcher (Android), as well
    as on Blubrry -- On the Air | Eclectic Tech.


    "ARRL at Home Hamvention" Weekend of Specials Set

    For the first time in its 68-year history, Dayton Hamvention^(R) will
    not take place, due to concerns about the coronavirus outbreak. ARRL
    understands that many members will miss going to Hamvention, which is
    always an occasion to catch up with friends, explore new products, and
    connect with ARRL via our Expo in the exhibit area.

    While we can't be together in Dayton in 2020, ARRL has put together a
    weekend of specials to bring a bit of the Hamvention spirit and
    excitement to members during what would have been Dayton Hamvention
    weekend, May 14 - 17. On the ARRL at Home Hamvention page, members will
    find a special message from ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR; new
    membership premiums; the latest products; clearance merchandise, and
    our "ARRL at Hamvention" button. All who make weekend purchases will
    receive a free ARRL button with their order, while supplies last.

    Visit the ARRL at Home Hamvention page to check out all the offerings.
    The K7RA Solar Update

    Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, reports: No sunspots appeared last week. The
    previous 7 days had only one big sunspot group on one day, and the
    sunspot number was 35. Over the 7-day period, this averaged out to a
    sunspot number of 5, so average daily sunspot numbers declined from 5
    to 0 this week. The average daily solar flux also declined, from 69.5
    to 68.5.

    Geomagnetic indicators were quiet, with average daily planetary A index
    declining from 5.1 to 4.1, and mid-latitude A index from 5 to 4.7.

    Predicted solar flux is 70 on May 14 - 31; 68 on June 1 - 13, and 70 on
    June 14 - 27. Predicted planetary A index is 5 on May 14 - June 8; 8 on
    June 9 - 10; 5 on June 11 - 13; 10 and 8 on June 14 - 15, and 5 on June
    16 - 27.

    Sunspot numbers for May 7 - 13 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, and 0, with a
    mean of 0. The 10.7-centimeter flux was 68.7, 67.9, 71, 67.9, 66.2,
    68.9, and 68.8, with a mean of 69.5. Estimated planetary A indices were
    4, 4, 3, 5, 5, 4, and 4, with a mean of 5.1. Middle latitude A index
    was 5, 4, 3, 5, 7, 5, and 4, with a mean of 5.

    A comprehensive K7RA Solar Update is posted Fridays on the ARRL
    website. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the
    ARRL Technical Information Service, read "What the Numbers Mean...,"
    and check out K9LA's Propagation Page.

    A propagation bulletin archive is available. Monthly charts offer
    propagation projections between the US and a dozen DX locations.

    Share your reports and observations.

    Just Ahead in Radiosport
    * May 16 -- Feld Hell Sprint
    * May 16 -- UN DX Contest (CW, phone)
    * May 16 - 17 -- NZART Sangster Shield Contest (CW)
    * May 16 - 17 -- His Majesty King of Spain Contest, CW
    * May 16 - 17 -- Aegean RTTY Contest
    * May 16 - 18 -- Portuguese Navy Day Contest (CW, phone)
    * May 17 -- Run for the Bacon QRP Contest (CW)
    * May 18 -- RSGB FT4 Contest Series
    * May 21 -- NAQCC CW Sprint
    * May 21 -- QRP Minimal Art Session (CW)

    See the ARRL Contest Calendar for more information. For in-depth
    reporting on amateur radio contesting, subscribe to The ARRL Contest
    Update via your ARRL member profile email preferences.
    New WSJT-X Beta Version Offers Significant FT4 and FT8 Upgrades

    A new beta version of the WSJT-X software suite has been released,
    which includes the first updates to the popular FT8 and FT4 protocols
    since last fall. Co-Developer Joe Taylor, K1JT, said the "candidate
    release" WSJT-X version 2.2.0-rcl incorporates significant program
    upgrades to FT8, FT4, and other protocols. The beta version will be
    valid for a month.

    "This candidate release is your first chance to test the new features
    and provide feedback to the WSJT Development Group," Taylor advised. A
    list of program changes since WSJT-X 2.1.2 is available in the
    cumulative Release Notes and in the updates WSJT-X 2.2.0 User Guide.

    The latest beta version corrects bugs that prevented AP decoding and/or
    multi-pass decoding in some circumstances. The algorithm for AP
    decoding has been improved and extended. FT8 decoding is now spread
    over three intervals -- starting at 11.8 seconds into a receive
    sequence -- typically yielding around 85% of the possible decodes for
    the sequence. "You, therefore, see most decodes much earlier than
    before," the Release Notes explain. A second processing step starts at
    13.5 seconds, and a final step at 14.7 seconds.

    "Overall decoding yield on crowded bands is improved by 10% or more,"
    the Release Notes say, although systems with receive latency greater
    than 0.2 seconds will experience smaller improvements, even while
    seeing many decodes sooner.

    Other changes:
    * The "contest mode" FT4 protocol always uses "RR73" for the TX4
    message.
    * The status bar now displays the number of decodes in the most
    recent receive sequence.

    Release candidate WSJT-X 2.2.0-rcl will be available for 1 month
    (starting on May 10). A general availability release of WSJT-X 2.2.0 is
    anticipated for June 1.

    Installation packages for Windows, Linux, and Macintosh are available
    on the WSJT-X Development Group page. Scroll down to "Candidate
    release: WSJT-X 2.2.0-rc1." The packages are also available from
    SourceForge.

    The WSJT-X Development Group request those using the new beta version
    of WSJT-X to alert the developers and to report any bugs or
    improvements they have implemented, using instructions included in the
    User Guide. Read more.

    ARISS Sets Second Test of New Multipoint Telebridge Contact System

    Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is hoping to
    refine its new Multipoint Telebridge Contact via Amateur Radio system
    for handling scheduled ham radio contacts between International Space
    Station crew members and schools or organizations on Earth. On May 15
    at 1510 UTC, it will conduct a second test of the new protocol by
    connecting students in Alberta, Canada, with an astronaut on the ISS.

    The COVID-19 pandemic eliminated conventional opportunities for ARISS
    contacts that typically involved large numbers of students and faculty
    gathering at a school or educational institution for the event. The
    ARISS multipoint telebridge system works around the issue by employing
    distance learning within distance learning, as many schools around the
    world have gone over to conducting classes remotely via
    teleconferencing, and students are physically separated.

    Under the multipoint telebridge concept, an amateur station in the
    footprint of a space station pass at the time a contact has been
    scheduled serves as an Earth station, making direct contact with NA1SS
    onboard the ISS. A telebridge network then delivers two-way audio from
    the Earth station to each student taking part in the contact. For the
    May 15 contact, John Sygo, ZS6JON, near Johannesburg, South Africa,
    will operate the Earth station.

    The students' families, faculty members, and even members of the public
    will be able to listen in as each student at Airdrie Space Science Club
    in Alberta -- a youth model rocket building and astronomy club -- takes
    a turn asking a question of astronaut Chris Cassidy, KF5KDR. One
    question on the list: "How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected you while
    you are in space?"

    Brian Jackson, VE6JBJ, is a club leader. "During this pandemic, our
    opportunities to develop kids' interest in space have been
    interrupted," Jackson said. "This ARISS contact gets them looking back
    up, towards the sky, and imagining themselves as an astronaut one day."

    Members of the public may view a livestream of the contact via YouTube.

    ARISS is a cooperative venture of international amateur radio
    societies, including ARRL and AMSAT in the US, and space agencies
    around the world that support the International Space Station.
    Two New Chinese Ham Satellites Expected to Launch in September

    Two new Chinese amateur radio satellites are expected to launch on
    September 15. CAS-7A and CAS-7C follow in the wake of numerous amateur
    radio satellites put into space by CAMSAT. CAS-7A, a 27-kilogram
    microsat, will carry several transponders, including a
    15-meter-to-10-meter (H/t) linear transponder, and a
    2-meter-to-70-centimeter (H/u) linear transponder. CAS-7A also will
    include a V/u (2 meters to 70 centimeters) FM voice transponder.
    According to the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) satellite
    coordination site, CAS-7A is planned to have CW beacons on both 10
    meters and 70 centimeters, 4.8k or 9.6k GMSK telemetry on 70
    centimeters, and a 1 Mbps GMSK image data downlink on 3 centimeters for
    an onboard camera.

    CAS-7C is a 2U CubeSat carrying a V/u linear transponder and a CW
    beacon. IARU has not yet coordinated frequencies for CAS-7C, which is
    to deploy a 1,080-meter (3,543 feet) long, 1-millimeter carbon fiber
    rope.

    The two satellites will launch from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center
    into a 500-kilometer sun-synchronous orbit with an inclination of 98°.

    Some specifics, according to coordination information:
    * CAS-7A will offer 30 kHz-wide uplink and downlink passbands for all
    linear transponders. The H/t uplink passband will be 21.245 -
    21.275 MHz, and the downlink will be 29.435 - 21.465 MHz. The CW
    beacon will be on 29.425 MHz.
    * The CAS-7A H/u linear transponder uplink passband will be 21.3125
    MHz - 21.3275 MHz, and the downlink will be 435.3575 MHz - 435.3725
    MHz. A CW beacon will transmit on 435.430 MHz.
    * The CAS-7A V/u transponder uplink passband will be 145.865 MHz -
    145.895 MHz, with a downlink passband of 435.385 MHz - 435.415 MHz.
    A CW beacon will transmit on 435.430 MHz.
    * CAS-7A V/u FM transponder will uplink on 145.950 MHz and downlink
    on 435.455 MHz, with a 4.8k/9.6k GMSK telemetry downlink at 435.480
    MHz. The 1 Mbps GMSK image data will downlink at 10.460 GHz.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Announcements
    * The older ARRL Magazines app for Amazon Kindle was failing to
    display the new QEX and NCJ offerings. This problem appears to have
    been fixed in the latest update. Kindle users may have to do a
    manual update. None of this affects iOS or Android users.
    * The CWops' CW Academy (CWA) offers free, remote Morse code classes
    at four separate levels -- beginner through advanced, running from
    not knowing the code at all to reaching 25 WPM. CWOps also provides
    a CWOps Test (CWT), an hour-long event every Wednesday at 1300 and
    1900 UTC, and Thursdays at 0300 UTC. -- Thanks to The ARRL Contest
    Update
    * The Hamvention QSO Party is on Saturday, May 16. No need to submit
    logs; post scores on 3830scores.com within 5 days of the event.
    * The 10th edition of the Youngsters on the Air (YOTA) Summer Camp,
    which was to have been hosted by the Croatian Amateur Radio
    Association (HRS) August 8 - 15, has been called off for this year,
    but will take place in 2021 at the same location. Also put off
    until next summer is the first Youth On The Air in the Americas
    Summer Camp, which had been set for June 21 - 26 in Ohio.
    * The new, 1-hour World Wide Sideband Activity Contest exchange
    includes age and sex, in these distinc: OM, YL, Youth YL (YYL), or
    Youth (Y). Winners in the Single Operator and Single Operator
    Overlay categories can download certificates. Plaques will be
    awarded for the highest overall cumulative (1-year) score for each
    single operator and single operator overlay category.
    * The 2020 IARU World Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF)
    Championships in Serbia and the 2020 IARU World Youth ARDF
    Championships in Slovenia have been canceled due to the COVID-19
    pandemic. These will be rescheduled in 2021. Details are on the
    IARU Region 1 website.
    * The Rebel DX Group has postponed its planned DXpedition to Banaba
    Island and Tuvalu due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizers remain
    hopeful of resuming plans to activate Bouvet Island (3Y0I) late
    this year.
    * Special event P*75FREE/FREEDOM stations are marking the liberation
    of The Netherlands by Allied Forces, ending World War II. The Dutch
    celebrate the end of WW II each year on May 5. Ten different
    special call signs, such as PA75FREE, will be active until the end
    of May, sponsored by the YNOMY DX Group. Awards are available.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Amateur Radio Gains Significant Boost in UK by Connecting People During
    Lockdown

    A recent BBC news feature has outlined how ham radio has gotten a
    significant boost by connecting people during the COVID-19 lockdown in
    the UK. The article, by Vanessa Pearce, quotes the Radio Society of
    Great Britain (RSGB) -- the UK's IARU member-society -- as saying that
    many former hams are now returning to the hobby. Mark Rider, G3VHJ -- a
    retired engineer who lives alone in North Warwickshire -- said that
    after the lockdown restricted his occasional trips to the pub,
    rehearsing with musician friends, and visiting his wife in a nursing
    home, he decided to dust off his ham radio equipment "to seek out

    Mark Rider, G3VHJ.

    some other social interaction." Rider said that ragchewing has become
    one of the highlights of his day. "Just speaking to somebody else in
    the same situation is very rewarding," he said. The 67-year-old told
    BBC News that keeping in touch with others has been more important
    since his wife suffered a stroke.

    RSGB General Manager Steve Thomas, M1ACB, said the society has
    experienced a three-fold increase in license examination applications
    since social distancing rules were put into place. The UK has about
    75,000 amateur licensees.

    Eleven-year-old Anne-Marie Rowland, 2E0RUX, of Cornwall, worked with
    the Cornish Amateur Radio Club to conduct informal twice-weekly nets to
    help keep people in touch. "We have some regulars, but also

    Ann-Marie Rowland, 2E0RUX.

    some new people join in," she told the BBC. Her father, Bill, M0NXF,
    runs a net that has attracted older radio amateurs who are
    self-isolating, to help them feel connected.

    The RSGB recently instituted its "Get on the Air to Care" (#GOTA2C)
    campaign in conjunction with the National Health Service and its GB1NHS
    amateur station to promote amateur radio use during the pandemic
    lockdown. Some stations have been adding /NHS to their call signs to
    support the effort, which aim to support the emotional health and
    wellbeing of the amateur radio community.

    The RSGB introduced remote administration of entry-level
    Foundation-class amateur radio exams in mid-April. Pete Sipple, M0PSX,
    told BBC News that he's seen a "massive" surge in demand for training
    courses and exam session and has had to up the number of course
    offerings.
    In Brief...

    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a record number of recent orders, ARRL
    is currently experiencing delays in the fulfillment of orders. Combined
    with excessive demands on many shipping carriers, our members and
    customers should expect a 1 - 3 week delay in the delivery of their
    orders over the next few weeks. State of Connecticut safety
    requirements limit the number of employees allowed within the warehouse
    at one time to ensure their health and safety, further contributing to
    the fulfillment slowdown. Warehouse personnel are utilizing all
    available resources to get customers their products as quickly as
    possible and anticipate that the standard 3 - 7 day US delivery time
    will be restored sometime in June, once the state mandate has relaxed.
    ARRL remains committed to making sure that all customers get their
    orders as quickly as possible. We greatly appreciate everyone's
    patience and understanding during this time and thank you for your
    continued support of amateur radio and ARRL.

    The transponder on HuskySat-1 has been activated and is open for use
    and testing, AMSAT Vice President - Operations Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA,
    reports. "It's fairly sensitive, and 5 - 10 W is plenty most of the
    time. There are some fades due to satellite orientation, and some
    passes are definitely better than others. Strong signals may impact the
    beacon strength." HuskySat-1 is the first CubeSat from the Husky
    Satellite Lab at the University of Washington and the first mission
    with AMSAT's linear transponder module (LTM-1), a V/u transponder and
    integrated telemetry beacon and command receiver. University
    researchers recently completed their Part 5 (Experimental) operations
    and have opened up the amateur radio transponder, which is available
    for use in educational CubeSat missions that are willing to enable the
    transponder for worldwide use. The HuskySat-1 V/u transponder is
    inverting, with an uplink passband of 145.910 - 145.940 MHz, and a
    downlink passband of 435.810 - 435.840 MHz. The 1200-baud BPSK
    telemetry beacon is at 435.800 MHz.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Note: Many conventions and hamfests have been canceled or postponed due
    to the coronavirus pandemic. Check the calendar of canceled events on
    the ARRL website.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    * July 4 - Pennsylvania State Convention, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
    * July 16 - 19 - Montana State Convention, Essex, Montana
    * July 24 - 25 - Oklahoma State Convention, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

    Find conventions and hamfests in your area.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    ARRL -- Your One-Stop Resource for
    Amateur Radio News and Information.

    .

    .
    * Join or Renew Today! ARRL membership includes QST, amateur radio's
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    * Listen to ARRL Audio News, available every Friday.

    Subscribe to...
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    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

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    Copyright (c) 2020 American Radio Relay League, Incorporated. Use and
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    --- SendMsg/2

    --- Squish/386 v1.11
    * Origin: Outpost BBS * Limestone, TN, USA (1:18/200)
  • From Sean Dennis@1:18/200 to All on Fri May 22 09:05:18 2020
    The ARRL Letter
    May 21, 2020

    * Amateur Radio Gearing Up for Predicted "Above Average" Atlantic
    Hurricane Season
    * Director, Vice Director Nominations Invited in Five ARRL Divisions
    * Planning Your ARRL Field Day 2020 Operation
    * ARRL Podcasts Schedule
    * ARRL Invites Applications for Awards and Programs Assistant
    * The K7RA Solar Update
    * Just Ahead in Radiosport
    * ARISS Multipoint Telebridge Contact via Amateur Radio Concept
    Proving Successful
    * Federal Judge Okays Retrieval of Titanic Marconi Wireless Equipment
    * Announcements
    * Venerable AO-7 Satellite Continues to Deliver
    * Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    COVID-19 Impact & News

    Find the latest news and information on the impact of the coronavirus
    pandemic to ARRL members and our global amateur radio community.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Amateur Radio Gearing Up for Predicted "Above Average" Atlantic
    Hurricane Season

    Long-range forecasts for the 2020 Atlantic Basin hurricane season,
    which begins on June 1 and extends until November 30, anticipate
    above-normal activity. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) 2020 outlook
    calls for a season about 140% more active than average, with four
    Category 3 to Category 5 hurricanes. The 2019 season saw three major
    hurricanes (out of six).

    "The above-average prediction is largely due to the hot Atlantic and
    Caribbean waters and lack of a substantial El NiA±o in the Pacific,"
    the NHC explained, noting that the combination of a busy hurricane
    season and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic could create a nightmare
    scenario for affected areas. FEMA and local emergency management
    agencies are already issuing COVID-19 guidelines for hurricane
    shelters, which include face masks and social distancing.

    The NHC Annual Station Test -- to check readiness of amateur radio
    stations and operators -- takes place on Saturday, May 30, 1300 - 2100
    UTC. The NHC's WX4NHC will be on the air, marking its 40th year of
    public service at the NHC. Julio Ripoll, WD4R, the Assistant Amateur
    Radio Coordinator at the NHC, said the event offers an opportunity for
    radio amateurs worldwide to exercise the sorts of communications
    available during severe weather. "We will be making brief contacts on
    many frequencies and modes, exchanging signal reports and basic weather
    data -- sunny, rain, temperature, etc.) with any station in any
    location," Ripoll said.

    Operation will be on HF, VHF, UHF, APRS, and Winlink. WX4NHC will
    center its activity on the Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) frequencies of
    14.325 MHz and 7.268 MHz, depending on propagation, but will operate
    elsewhere as conditions dictate. WX4NHC will also operate on the VoIP
    Hurricane Net from 2000 until 2100 UTC.

    Dr. Philip J. Klotzbach et al of the Colorado State University (CSU)
    Department of Atmospheric Science cite a variety of factors that led
    them to conclude this hurricane season could get serious. Pointing to
    the "somewhat above normal" tropical Atlantic sea-surface temperatures,
    the scientists estimate "about eight hurricanes," four of them major,
    during the 2020 season.

    "I must say, I'm not liking what I'm seeing," reacted Hurricane Watch
    Net Manager Bobby Graves, KB5HAV, pointing to additional extended
    forecasts posted by Tropical Storm Risk (TSR), the University of
    Arizona, and North Carolina State University. The TSR forecast calls
    for three major hurricanes, while the University of Arizona and North
    Carolina State predict between three and five major hurricanes.

    "Since 2014, the Hurricane Watch Net has been very busy," Graves told
    ARRL. "We've had 20 net activations for 19 hurricanes and one tropical
    storm. Since 2015, we've worked nine major land-falling hurricanes,
    including four land-falling Category 5 storms."

    Graves pointed out that the past six hurricane seasons not only were
    busy and historic but very deadly, and he's hoping the 2020 hurricane
    season will not turn in a repeat performance.
    Director, Vice Director Nominations Invited in Five ARRL Divisions

    Nominations are being invited in five ARRL Divisions for the volunteer
    positions of Director and Vice Director, for 3-year terms that start
    January 1, 2021. Affected Divisions are Atlantic, Dakota, Delta, Great
    Lakes, and Midwest. A nominee must be at least 21 years old, hold a
    valid amateur radio license, and have been a full ARRL member for a
    continuous term of at least 4 years immediately preceding nomination.
    Nominees will be asked to provide information concerning employment,
    ownership, investment interests, and other financial arrangements to
    ensure compliance with the Conflict of Interest Policy spelled out in
    the ARRL Articles of Association and Bylaws.

    The incumbent Directors and Vice Directors in the affected Divisions
    are:
    * Atlantic: Director Tom Abernethy, W3TOM; Vice Director Bob
    Famiglio, K3RF
    * Dakota: Director Matt Holden, K0BBC; Vice Director Lynn Nelson,
    W0ND
    * Delta: Director David Norris, K5UZ; Vice Director Ed Hudgens,
    WB4RHQ
    * Great Lakes: Director Dale Williams, WA8EFK; Vice Director Thomas
    Delaney, W8WTD
    * Midwest: Director Rod Blocksome, K0DAS; Vice Director Art
    Zygielbaum, K0AIZ

    Prospective candidates or those planning to nominate an individual
    should obtain an official nominating petition form, available to any
    full member living in an affected Division. Send a written request to
    ARRL to ceo@arrl.org, by noon EDT on August 14, 2020. Using only the
    official form, a candidate must obtain the signatures of at least 10
    full members of the Division and provide information required to
    determine eligibility. Petitions must reach the ARRL Secretary by noon
    EDT on Friday, August 21, 2020. The Secretary will notify each
    candidate of the name and call sign of other candidates for the same
    office. Candidates will have until Friday, September 4, to submit a
    300-word statement and a photo for distribution with the election
    ballots.

    If only one eligible candidate is nominated for an office, he or she
    will be declared elected by the Ethics and Elections Committee.

    Balloting in Divisions where more than one candidate qualifies to stand
    for election as Director or Vice Director will take place this fall,
    with ballots counted on November 20. The formal "Call for Nominations
    for ARRL Director and Vice Director" appears on page 69 of the July
    2020 issue of QST.

    Planning Your ARRL Field Day 2020 Operation

    For most of us, ARRL Field Day 2020 is going to look quite different
    than it has in past years. Considering the impact of social distancing
    due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many radio clubs and large groups will
    not be gathering in their usual Field Day locations this year. Here are
    some tips and suggestions to help participate in amateur radio's
    largest annual on-air event under these unusual circumstances.

    Don't Forget 6 Meters

    Field Day is a non-adjudicated operating event and not a "full speed
    ahead" contest. It is also not just an HF event. All amateur radio
    bands above 50 MHz may be used during the event too.

    This includes 6 meters, which often offers significant propagation
    enhancements around the time of Field Day weekend. The band is
    available to amateurs holding a Technician-class license or higher. If
    you have an HF/VHF/UHF multi-mode transceiver, try making SSB, CW, or
    digital contacts on 6 meters. Even a simple vertical or dipole will
    allow you to experience the "magic band."

    Activities for Techs

    One suggestion for clubs to consider in order to increase participation
    among their Technician-class members is to schedule specific times when
    these club members will monitor designated VHF and UHF simplex
    frequencies for Field Day activity. (Avoid published national FM
    simplex calling frequencies; repeaters are prohibited for Field Day
    contacts.) This way, members having equipment capable of VHF/UHF-only
    operation may be able to participate from home or a vehicle. Clubs can
    choose a list of frequencies and schedule times in advance.

    On HF, Technician-class licensees have CW privileges on 80, 40, and 15
    meters, as well as RTTY/data and SSB phone privileges on 10 meters. If
    you aren't a CW operator, try calling CQ on 10-meter SSB in the late
    afternoon and early evening on Saturday to see if conditions are
    favorable for long-distance communications. Try experimenting with a
    simple wire antenna for 10 meters. You might discover that the band can
    offer plenty of unexpected propagation.

    Set Up for Digital Modes

    You might want to explore using FT4/FT8 (or other) digital modes on 10
    meters, 6 meters, or even on VHF/UHF. These modes offer an opportunity
    to make weak-signal contacts when band conditions often do not support
    voice communication. There have been reports of some great 6-meter
    openings in recent weeks, and these are likely to occur more frequently
    as summer approaches.

    Setup is relatively straightforward. You'll need a computer and a
    digital interface to connect the radio to the computer, and you'll need
    to download one of the digital mode software packages, such as the free
    WSJT-X suite, which incorporates FT8 and FT4. Software should support
    the ARRL Field Day exchange (WSJT-X version 2.0 or later, for example).

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    ARRL Field Day rules place a premium on "developing skills to meet the
    challenges of emergency preparedness as well as to acquaint the general
    public with the capabilities of amateur radio." Field Day 2020 is June
    27 - 28.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Excitement of Ham Satellites

    Another area to explore is satellite operation. Many hams have had
    success making contacts via the FM satellites with just a VHF/UHF
    handheld radio and a small handheld directional antenna. You'll need a
    multi-mode VHF/UHF transceiver for the linear (SSB and CW) satellites.
    To determine when a satellite will be making a pass over your location,
    visit AMSAT's Online Satellite Pass Prediction page.

    An Opportunity for Learning

    ARRL Field Day 2020 may be the year you decide to participate solo, or
    with other members of your household. You may want to focus on
    expanding your knowledge base and experiment with new modes or bands
    that you never thought of using before. If you're a mentor to a newer
    ham, Field Day can be an opportunity to share some of your knowledge
    with them, as well as for you to expand your own operating horizons.
    This might be the year to leave your Field Day comfort zone and try
    something new!

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    ARRL Podcasts Schedule

    The latest episode of the On the Air podcast (Episode 5) focuses on the
    various types of modulation and tips on go-kits. The On the Air podcast
    is a monthly companion to On the Air magazine, ARRL's magazine for
    beginner-to-intermediate ham radio operators.

    The latest episode of the Eclectic Tech podcast (Episode 8) includes a
    discussion of 10-meter FM and an interview with Pascal Villeneuve,
    VA2PV, about "hotspots" for DMR, D-STAR, and Yaesu System Fusion.

    The On the Air and Eclectic Tech podcasts are sponsored by Icom. Both
    podcasts are available on iTunes (iOS) and Stitcher (Android), as well
    as on Blubrry -- On the Air | Eclectic Tech.

    ARRL Invites Applications for Awards and Programs Assistant

    ARRL is inviting applications to fill the position of Awards and
    Programs Assistant at ARRL Headquarters in Newington, Connecticut. This
    is a full-time, non-exempt opening in the Radiosport and Field Services
    Department. The pay range is from $16.08 to 19.30 per hour.

    The Awards and Programs Assistant will help with all Radiosport and
    Field Services Department activities, with an initial priority on
    Logbook of The World (LoTW) support. Other duties may involve
    supporting DXCC and other awards programs, W1AW station operations, and
    contest program and field service support. This individual would also
    handle special projects that may be assigned and represent ARRL in
    public forums worldwide.

    The successful candidate will possess a well-rounded knowledge of
    amateur radio, an Amateur Extra-class license, and 2 years of operating
    experience; the ability to quickly understand and explain software
    functionality, and proficiency in keyboarding and data entry. This
    individual should have attained DXCC, regularly submit contest logs to
    sponsors, use LoTW, and be able to resolve issues efficiently.

    A bachelor's degree is preferred. The ideal candidate will have
    excellent interpersonal, telephone, and listening skills and be
    proficient in public presentations. Some overnight travel may be
    required.

    To apply, submit a cover letter and resume via mail, email, or fax to
    ARRL, c/o Monique Levesque, 225 Main St., Newington, CT 06111 (fax
    860-594 -0298). For complete position information, visit ARRL
    Employment Opportunities and scroll down to "Awards and Programs
    Assistant."

    ARRL is an equal opportunity employer.
    The K7RA Solar Update

    Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, reports: Still no sunspots to report.
    Spaceweather.com reported on May 20 that the current stretch of days
    with no sunspots has now reached 18, and with that, the 2020 percentage
    of days with no sunspots has risen to 77% -- equal to 2019. Until May
    15, that statistic stood at 76%.

    Average daily solar flux for the week rose to 69 from last week's
    average of 68.5. The average planetary A index declined from 4.1 to
    3.7, while the average mid-latitude A index shifted from 4.7 to 4.

    Predicted solar flux for the next 45 days is 70 -- every day from May
    21 through July 4. Predicted planetary A index is 5 on May 21 - June
    14; 8 on June 15 - 16, and 5 on June 17 - July 4.

    In this Friday's bulletin, look for multiple reports heralding the
    start of E-skip season.

    Sunspot numbers for May 14 - 20 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, and 0, with a
    mean of 0. The 10.7-centimeter flux was 67.6, 67.8, 69.4, 69.6, 70.2,
    68.7, and 69.6, with a mean of 69. Estimated planetary A indices were
    3, 4, 4, 3, 4, 5, and 3, with a mean of 3.7. Middle latitude A index
    was 3, 4, 4, 3, 5, 6, and 3, with a mean of 4.

    A comprehensive K7RA Solar Update is posted Fridays on the ARRL
    website. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the
    ARRL Technical Information Service, read "What the Numbers Mean...,"
    and check out K9LA's Propagation Page.

    A propagation bulletin archive is available. Monthly charts offer
    propagation projections between the US and a dozen DX locations.

    Share your reports and observations.

    Just Ahead in Radiosport
    * May 23 - 24 -- Baltic Contest (CW, phone)
    * May 25 -- QRP ARCI Hootowl Sprint (CW)
    * May 25 - 26 -- QCX Challenge (CW)
    * May 27 -- SKCC Sprint (CW)
    * May 28 -- RSGB 80-Meter Club Championship (CW)

    See the ARRL Contest Calendar for more information. For in-depth
    reporting on amateur radio contesting, subscribe to The ARRL Contest
    Update via your ARRL member profile email preferences.
    ARISS Multipoint Telebridge Contact via Amateur Radio Concept Proving
    Successful

    Judging by the outcome of two tests so far, the new Amateur Radio on
    the International Space Station (ARISS) Multipoint Telebridge Contact
    via Amateur Radio concept appears to be a winner. ARISS completed the
    second test of the new-style radio contact, called Multipoint
    Telebridge Contact via Amateur Radio, on May 15, when Airdrie Space
    Science Club members in Airdrie, Alberta, Canada, interviewed
    International Space Station Commander Chris Cassidy, KF5KDR, via ham
    radio.

    "What makes this contact a little different from the usual ARISS
    contact is [that] everyone involved will be speaking from their homes
    in Canada, as we all shelter in place," said the contact moderator,
    John Kludt, K4SQC, in introducing the event. The multipoint telebridge
    concept was developed to make it possible for students -- now at home
    and engaged in distance learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic -- to
    take part in scheduled ARISS contacts. An ARISS telebridge ground
    station operated by John Sygo, ZS6JON, near Johannesburg, South Africa,
    made direct contact with NA1SS onboard the ISS, which was passing
    overhead. Sygo then patched two-way audio into the telebridge network
    for distribution to each student's home by telephone.

    ISS Commander
    Chris Cassidy,
    KF5KDR. [NASA,
    photo]

    Each student then took turns asking questions of Cassidy, and their
    families, faculty members, and the public could also listen from home.
    One of the participants, Lucas, wanted to know how the COVID-19
    pandemic has affected life aboard the space station.

    "The pandemic has affected us because it's affected our families,"
    Cassidy responded. "Our daily life here on the space station is largely
    the same, with or without the pandemic."

    The initial multipoint telebridge contact earlier this month, while
    successful, suffered from some issues on the space station that were
    unrelated to the new multipoint system. During the more-than 11-minute
    contact on May 15, some of the students got to ask more than one
    question.

    Prior to the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the
    Canadian students had engaged in lessons about space and radio
    communication, such as launching balloons carrying ham radio payloads
    and building model rockets to launch. -- Thanks to ARISS

    Federal Judge Okays Retrieval of Titanic Marconi Wireless Equipment

    A US federal judge in Virginia has given permission to retrieve the
    ill-fated RMS Titanic's Marconi wireless gear, which transmitted
    distress calls from the sinking ocean liner during its maiden voyage.
    Judge Rebecca Beach Smith of the US District Court in Norfolk ruled
    that the radio gear is historically and culturally important and could
    soon be lost within the rapidly decaying wreck. The Titanic sank in
    1912 some 370 miles off the coast of Newfoundland after striking an
    iceberg.

    "The Marconi device has significant historical, educational,
    scientific, and cultural value as the device used to make distress
    calls while the Titanic was sinking," Judge Smith wrote in her ruling.
    She said the company would be permitted "minimally to cut into the
    wreck" to access the radio room.

    David Concannon, a lawyer for R.M.S Titanic Inc., which the court has
    recognized as the steward of the vessel's artifacts, said the company
    would try to avoid cutting into the ship, noting that the radio room
    may be reachable via a skylight that was already open. More legal
    wrangling may lie ahead. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric
    ministration (NOAA) contends that the retrieval expedition is still
    prohibited under US law and under an international agreement between
    the US and the UK.

    R.M.S Titanic has said the radio transmitter could unlock some of the
    secrets about a missed warning message and distress calls sent from the
    ship.

    "It tells an important story," Concannon said. "It tells of the heroism
    of the operators that saved the lives of 705 people. They worked until
    water was lapping at their feet."

    A recreation of the Titanic
    Radio Room.

    In an April court filing, NOAA argued against the salvage effort,
    saying that any benefit to be realized from cutting into the vessel to
    recover the Marconi equipment would not be "worth the cost to the
    resource and not in the public interest."

    RMS Titanic sought permission to carry out what it called a "surgical
    removal and retrieval" of the Marconi radio equipment. As might be
    expected, the deteriorating Marconi equipment is in poor shape after
    more than a century under water. The undersea retrieval would mark the
    first time an artifact was collected from within the Titanic, which
    many believe should remain undisturbed as the final resting place of
    some 1,500 victims of the maritime disaster. The wreck sits on the
    ocean floor some 2 1/2 miles beneath the surface, and remained
    undiscovered until 1985. R.M.S. Titanic said it plans to use a manned
    submarine to reach the wreck and then deploy a remotely controlled sub
    to retrieve the radio equipment.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Announcements
    * The ARRL Headquarters staff will be enjoying a holiday on Memorial
    Day, Monday, May 26.
    * The W9DXCC DX Convention has been canceled for 2020, due to the
    coronavirus pandemic. The Northern Illinois DX Association sponsors
    the annual event, and plans are already under way to book
    accommodations for the 2021 convention.
    * CQ has announced the 2020 inductees to its three halls of fame. The
    magazine named three new members to its Contest Hall of Fame, seven
    new members to its Amateur Radio Hall of Fame, and two new members
    to its DX Hall of Fame. Read more.
    * Icom has announced that it will start shipping its new IC-705
    all-mode portable HF/VHF/UHF transceiver for the Japan domestic
    market starting in mid-June. IC-705 shipments for international
    markets will depend on equipment certifications in each region.
    * The Southwest Ohio DX Association (SWODXA) has named the February
    2020 Cocos Island TI9A DXpedition as "DXpedition of the Year."
    * Marking the pending start of hurricane season and the 15th
    anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Larry Morgan, AG5Z, has organized
    the Gulf Coast Hurricane Special Event 2020, May 27 - 29. Special
    event stations for the five states most often impacted by Gulf
    Coast hurricanes will operate on 3.862, 7.240, 14.255, and 21.300
    MHz.
    * Dustin Thomas, N8RMA, is polling radio amateurs around the world
    for his fourth annual State of the Hobby Survey.
    * The West Bengal Radio Club in Kolkata, India, is using the special
    call sign AU2AC for emergency communication during Cyclone Amphan,
    which struck the West Bengal coast this week.
    * On April 29, EI4GNB in Ireland completed an FT8 contact with LY2YR
    on 40.220 MHz, marking the first contact between any two countries
    on the 8-meter band. More information is on the EI7GL blog.
    * The OK-90 campaign commemorating the 90th anniversary of amateur
    radio in Czechoslovakia continues through the end of May. The event
    recognizes the issuance of the first amateur radio licenses in
    Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic and Slovakia). Unsanctioned
    ham radio experiments took place in the early 20th century, but
    amateur radio did not become official until 1930, when the first
    exams were given. -- Thanks to ARRL Member Jan Å varc, OK1UU

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Venerable AO-7 Satellite Continues to Deliver

    The nearly 46-year-old AO-7 amateur satellite made a remarkable contact
    possible on May 4 between Diego Feil, LW2DAF, in Buenos Aires,
    Argentina (GF05rk), and Tom Ambrose, ZS1TA, in Cape Town, South Africa
    (JF95fx). The contact spanned 4,329 miles across the South Atlantic,
    with both stations aiming at only 2 or 3 degrees above the horizon.

    Both stations had been watching orbital predictions for several weeks,
    and the times they could "see" AO-7 at the same time occurred only
    occasionally. Electrical noise, particularly in Cape Town, had hampered
    earlier efforts, but on the morning of May 4, noise levels were low,
    and a perfect contact was possible with a full exchange of call signs
    and reports.

    In 2016, Dave Swanson, KG5CCI, in Arkansas, and Eduardo Erlemann,
    PY2RN, in Brazil, achieved a distance milestone on AO-7, completing a
    scheduled contact that covered a calculated distance of just over 4,979
    miles, which Swanson at the time said was "way beyond the theoretical
    range of AO-7" and a feat that "the math said shouldn't be possible."
    -- Thanks to AMSAT News Service
    Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Note: Many conventions and hamfests have been canceled or postponed due
    to the coronavirus pandemic. Check the calendar of canceled events on
    the ARRL website.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    * July 16 - 19 - Montana State Convention, Essex, Montana
    * July 24 - 25 - Oklahoma State Convention, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

    Find conventions and hamfests in your area

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    ARRL -- Your One-Stop Resource for
    Amateur Radio News and Information.

    .

    .
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    * Listen to ARRL Audio News, available every Friday.

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    --- SendMsg/2

    --- Squish/386 v1.11
    * Origin: Outpost BBS * Limestone, TN, USA (1:18/200)
  • From Sean Dennis@1:18/200 to All on Fri May 29 09:05:18 2020
    The ARRL Letter
    May 28, 2020

    * Temporary Rule Waivers Announced for 2020 ARRL Field Day
    * Social Distancing Exam Sessions Demonstrate Pent-Up Demand for
    Testing
    * Global COVID-19 Radio Event Set for June 6 - 7
    * ARRL Podcasts Schedule
    * Another New Beta Version of WSJT-X is Available
    * The K7RA Solar Update
    * Just Ahead in Radiosport
    * Announcements
    * Moonbounce Contact via FT8 Could be a First
    * Rocky Mountain Vice Director Resigns to Accept Appointment as
    Colorado Section Manager
    * In Brief...
    * Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    COVID-19 Impact & News

    Find the latest news and information on the impact of the coronavirus
    pandemic to ARRL members and our global amateur radio community.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Temporary Rule Waivers Announced for 2020 ARRL Field Day

    With one month to go before 2020 ARRL Field Day, June 27 - 28, the ARRL
    Programs and Services Committee (PSC) has adopted two temporary rule
    waivers for the event:

    1) For Field Day 2020 only, Class D stations may work all other Field
    Day stations, including other Class D stations, for points.

    Field Day rule 4.6 defines Class D stations as "Home stations,"
    including stations operating from permanent or licensed station
    locations using commercial power. Class D stations ordinarily may only
    count contacts made with Class A, B, C, E, and F Field Day stations,
    but the temporary rule waiver for 2020 allows Class D stations to count
    contacts with other Class D stations for QSO credit.

    2) In addition, for 2020 only, an aggregate club score will be
    published, which will be the sum of all individual entries indicating a
    specific club (similar to the aggregate score totals used in ARRL
    affiliated club competitions).

    Ordinarily, club names are only published in the results for Class A
    and Class F entries, but the temporary rule waiver for 2020 allows
    participants from any Class to optionally include a single club name
    with their submitted results following Field Day.

    For example, if Podunk Hollow Radio Club members Becky, W1BXY, and
    Hiram, W1AW, both participate in 2020 Field Day -- Hiram from his Class
    D home station, and Becky from her Class C mobile station -- both can
    include the radio club's name when reporting their individual results.
    The published results listing will include individual scores for Hiram
    and Becky, plus a combined score for all entries identified as Podunk
    Hollow Radio Club.

    The temporary rule waivers were adopted by the PSC on May 27, 2020.

    ARRL Field Day is one of the biggest events on the amateur radio
    calendar, with over 36,000 participants in 2019, including entries from
    3,113 radio clubs and emergency operations centers. In most years,
    Field Day is also the largest annual demonstration of ham radio,
    because many radio clubs organize their participation in public places
    such as parks and schools.

    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many radio clubs have made decisions to
    cancel their group participation in ARRL Field Day this year due to
    public health recommendations and/or requirements, or to significantly
    modify their participation for safe social distancing practices. The
    temporary rule waivers allow greater flexibility in recognizing the
    value of individual and club participation regardless of entry class.

    ARRL is contacting logging program developers about the temporary rule
    waivers so developers can release updated versions of their software
    prior to Field Day weekend.

    Participants are reminded that the preferred method of submitting
    entries after Field Day is via the web applet. The ARRL Field Day rules
    include instructions for submitting entries after the event. Entries
    must be submitted or postmarked by Tuesday, July 28, 2020.

    The ARRL Field Day web page includes a series of articles with ideas
    and advice for adapting participation this year.
    Social Distancing Exam Sessions Demonstrate Pent-Up Demand for Testing

    A recent in-person "social-distancing" amateur radio exam session in
    Indiana and a "drive-in" session in California are representative of
    those that are relieving some of the pent-up demand for testing. As the
    COVID-19 pandemic continues, in-person exam sessions have begun to
    resume across the US and elsewhere in the world.

    "With in-person sessions starting up again around the country, we are
    hearing the same story from volunteer examiner (VE) teams everywhere,"
    said ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC) Maria Somma, AB1FM.
    "Large numbers of candidates who have been waiting to test are
    contacting teams and are thankful for the opportunity to sit for an
    exam. So far, we've heard mostly positive results. Candidates are very
    prepared, as they've had extra time to study. VE teams and candidates
    are following CDC and state guidelines for social distancing."

    Anderson (IN) Repeater Club VE Team Liaison Steve Riley, WA9CWE, told
    ARRL earlier this month that his club has been conducting test sessions
    every month since 2011, typically serving four or five candidates each
    session, but the May 19 session attracted 14 individuals.

    "We were unable to test in April, but were able to get back in for the
    May session," Riley said. "Several candidates were from Central
    Indiana, and we had a fellow drive down from Chicago, a couple from the
    Dayton, Ohio, area, and also from Fort Wayne, Indiana." The team
    limited participation until it could conduct the trial run.

    VEs and examinees alike wore face masks, and the test room was
    configured to accommodate the necessary spacing between individuals.
    "We questioned everyone entering with the usual health questions," he
    added.

    "Our VE paperwork became a serial flow for grading instead of our prior
    'huddle' of the three VEs over the answer sheet," Riley recounted. "As
    a result, things were a bit slower than in the past. The tables,
    pencils, and pens were disinfected."

    The result for the session was 11 new radio amateurs and three
    upgrades. "All went well, although we identified a couple improvements
    in paperwork flow for next month's test," Riley added.

    "There is quite a pent-up demand for new amateur licenses and upgrades
    as a result of the number of test sessions that have been canceled," he
    continued. "I hope that as sessions resume, they have the success that
    we had." Riley said he's already been contacted by six people who plan
    to sit for the exam in June.

    In California, VE Larry Loomer, KI6LNB, told the ARRL VEC that his team
    conducted a successful drive-in license testing session on May 16 at
    the Concord Bay Area Rapid Transit Station.

    Loomer explained that candidates fill out their paperwork in their
    cars. "I have circled in pencil all of the boxes on [Form] 605, the
    answer sheet, and the CSCE (Certificate of Successful Completion of
    Exam) that the candidates need to fill in, to minimize the face-to-face
    time." Once paperwork is completed, candidates take a test booklet and
    answer sheet on a clipboard and sit in a chair in front of their cars,
    taking the test in front of the VEs.

    Completed tests go into a box on the VE table, and candidates back
    their cars into a holding area, to let other cars park by the testing
    chairs. Once a test is scored and signed, the CSCE goes to the waiting
    candidate, who may then drive away.

    "I'm seeing videos of remote test-taking sessions, and they still look
    labor intensive to me," Loomer said. "We are sticking with the drive-in
    format for the present time."

    Somma said, "Our VE teams are doing a great job! I'm impressed with
    their attention to safety, their professionalism, and their innovative
    tactics."

    Global COVID-19 Radio Event Set for June 6 - 7

    Stations bearing call signs that promote the "stay-at-home" message and
    the value of social distancing and isolation have sprung up during the
    COVID-19 pandemic, with some 150,000 messages of support shared around
    the world. An on-air gathering over the June 6 - 7 weekend will offer a
    further opportunity for stay-at-home stations and radio amateurs to
    share greetings in a contest-like framework, looking toward the day
    that restrictions will ease, eventually making the stay-at-home
    injunction obsolete. The patron of the STAYHOME radio campaign is
    Finland's Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto, and the worldwide activity
    has the endorsement of International Amateur Radio Union (IARU)
    President Tim Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA, and the United Nations Amateur Radio
    Club.

    "Amateur radio operators across the world are experiencing something we
    have never seen before, with the current COVID-19 pandemic," Ellam
    said. "In times like this, on-the-air activities can benefit our
    communities and ourselves. Events such as this are important to improve
    operating skills. It is also encouraging us to get on the air and keep
    active, as well as promoting social distancing." Ellam expressed thanks
    to the national regulators in more than three dozen countries that made
    special stay-at-home-suffix call signs available for amateur use.

    Sponsoring the event and campaign are the Finnish Amateur Radio League
    (SRAL), in cooperation with Araucaria DX Group (ADXG) of Brazil, and
    Radio Arcala (OH8X) in Finland.

    UN Amateur Radio Club President James Sarte, K2QI, has said that 4U1UN
    will be on the air to support of the global STAY HOME movement, as will
    sister stations 4U1GSC (operated as 4U9STAYHOME) and 4U1A (operated as
    4U2STAYHOME).

    Special event station W2I/STAYHOME, helmed by Ria Jairam, N2RJ, and
    Peter Dougherty, W2IRT, will also be on the air, operating CW, SSB, and
    FT8 simultaneously. (Jairam is ARRL Hudson Division Director.)

    The STAYHOME event gets under way at 1000 UTC on Saturday, June 6,
    concluding 24 hours later. Bands will include 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10
    meters, with CW, SSB, and digital (FT4/FT8 only). Exchange is a signal
    report and operator age, except for FT4/FT8 reports. Awards and
    certificates in the various operating categories will be available.
    Email for more information.
    ARRL Podcasts Schedule

    The latest episode of the On the Air podcast (Episode 5) focuses on the
    various types of modulation and tips on go-kits. The On the Air podcast
    is a monthly companion to On the Air magazine, ARRL's magazine for
    beginner-to-intermediate ham radio operators.

    The latest episode of the Eclectic Tech podcast (Episode 8) includes a
    discussion of 10-meter FM and an interview with Pascal Villeneuve,
    VA2PV, about "hotspots" for DMR, D-STAR, and Yaesu Fusion.

    The On the Air and Eclectic Tech podcasts are sponsored by Icom. Both
    podcasts are available on iTunes (iOS) and Stitcher (Android) as well
    as on Blubrry -- On the Air | Eclectic Tech.

    Another New Beta Version of WSJT-X is Available

    A new beta ("release candidate"), WSJT-X version 2.2.0-rc2, is now
    available for downloading from the WSJT-X website, along with a list of
    new features. The WSJT-X development team has also published additional
    FT8 "overflow" frequencies, as the WSJT-X 2.2.0-rc2 Release Notes
    explain.

    "Increasing FT8 usage on 40, 30, and 20 meters means that the default 3
    kHz subbands are often wall-to-wall with signals. Overcrowding
    encourages some to turn on their amplifiers, which only makes things
    worse. On a trial basis, and in response to numerous suggestions from
    around the world, we have added a second set of suggested dial
    frequencies for FT8 on three HF bands and also on 6 meters...7.071,
    10.133, 14.071, and 50.310 MHz.

    "These frequencies will appear in your dropdown band-selector list
    after you go to the 'Settings | Frequencies' tab, right-click on the
    frequency table, and select 'Reset.' Alternatively, you can add the new
    FT8 frequencies manually. When the conventional FT8 subband on 6, 20,
    30, or 40 meters seems too full, please try moving your dial frequency
    down 3 kHz! [A]s currently implemented, WSJT-X will set your dial to
    the lowest frequency for the selected mode and band, when you switch
    bands."

    The latest "general availability" (GA) release is WSJT-X 2.1.2.
    The K7RA Solar Update

    Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, reports: No significant solar activity over
    the past week, and still no sunspots observed since the end of April.
    According to Spaceweather.com, the percentage of spotless days in 2020
    has inched up to 79%. The percentage of days showing no sunspots for
    all of 2019 was 77%.

    Average daily solar flux for last week was 69.6, up from 69 during the
    previous week. Average mid-latitude A index was 5.7, it was 4 during
    the previous week, and average planetary A index was 4.6, up from 3.7
    during the previous 7 days.

    Predicted solar flux for the next 45 days sits at 70, on every day,
    just as it did in last week's forecast. Predicted planetary A index is
    5 on May 28; 8 on May 29 - 31; 5 on June 1 - 14; 8 on June 15 - 16, and
    5 on June 17 - July 11.

    On May 27, Spaceweather.com pointed toward an active region, possibly a
    sunspot, just over our sun's eastern horizon. You can see it via the
    STEREO observatory. In solar images, east is toward the left, from
    Earth's perspective. It is expected to come over the horizon and begin
    to point toward Earth on May 29.

    Sunspot numbers for May 21 - 27 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, and 0, with a
    mean of 0. The 10.7-centimeter flux was 70.2, 70.8, 69.1, 68.8, 70.3,
    69.7, and 68, with a mean of 69.6. Estimated planetary A indices were
    5, 6, 4, 5, 5, 4, and 3, with a mean of 4.6. The middle latitude A
    index was 8, 7, 4, 5, 7, 3, and 6, with a mean of 5.7.

    A comprehensive K7RA Solar Update is posted Fridays on the ARRL
    website. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the
    ARRL Technical Information Service, read "What the Numbers Mean...,"
    and check out K9LA's Propagation Page.

    A propagation bulletin archive is available. Monthly charts offer
    propagation projections between the US and a dozen DX locations.

    Share your reports and observations.

    Just Ahead in Radiosport
    * May 29 - 31 -- PODXS 070 Club 3-Day Weekend Contest (Digital)
    * May 30 - 31 -- CQ World Wide WPX Contest (CW)
    * June 1 -- RSGB 80-Meter Club Championship (Digital)
    * June 2 -- ARS Spartan Sprint CW
    * June 4 -- NRAU 10-Meter Activity Contest (CW, phone, digital)
    * June 4 -- SKCC Sprint Europe (CW)

    See the ARRL Contest Calendar for more information. For in-depth
    reporting on amateur radio contesting, subscribe to The ARRL Contest
    Update via your ARRL member profile email preferences.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Announcements
    * The 2019 ARRL DXCC Yearbook is now available for viewing and
    downloading.
    * Dan Romanchik, KB6NU, is maintaining a "Compendium of online
    amateur radio club meetings," which effectively makes any radio
    club meeting easy to "attend." It's suggested to secure an
    invitation from the club rather than just showing up.
    * Citing public health concerns, DX Engineering has canceled its
    second annual DXE Hamfest, which was to be held on August 8 at its
    headquarters near Akron, Ohio. This year's event was planned in
    conjunction with ARRL's Ohio Section Convention. The logistics of
    safely managing an anticipated large crowd played a role in DX
    Engineering's decision.
    * The MicroHAMS Digital Conference (MHDC) was held virtually this
    year, offering an opportunity to reach out to speakers who might
    otherwise been unable to attend. Typical attendance at the
    in-person conference is around 100 people. The virtual event
    attracted between 300 and 500 viewers actively watching the
    livestream. The 2,000 unique views during the conference indicated
    that some only attended a portion of the day or specific sessions.
    The 13th annual MHDC is available on the MicroHAMS website.
    * According to a reader report in The Daily DX, a signal on various
    20-meter frequencies has been jamming "everything for about 10 kHz"
    with a strong signal. The signal is believed to be that of a
    Chinese over-the-horizon radar. The signal has been centered on
    14.174, 14.193, 14.240, and 14.267, "moving around."
    * David Cripe, NM0S, is the new president of the QRP-Amateur Radio
    Club International (QRP-ARCI). He succeeds Preston Douglas, WJ2V,
    who had served as the club's president for more than 3 years.


    Moonbounce Contact via FT8 Could be a First

    FT8 codeveloper Joe Taylor, K1JT, has reported what is possibly the
    first FT8 contact via moonbouce (Earth-Moon-Earth or EME) on May 21
    between Paul Andrews, W2HRO, in New York, and Peter Gouweleeuw, PA2V,
    in the Netherlands. The contact was made possible using the currently
    available beta-release candidate of WSJT-X, version 2.2-rc1.

    "Why might you want to use FT8 instead of 'Old Reliable JT65' for EME
    QSOs?" Taylor asked in a subsequent Moon-Net post. "FT8 is about 4 dB
    less sensitive than JT65, but with 15-second T/R [transmit/receive]
    sequences it's four times faster, and it doesn't use Deep Search," he
    said, answering his own question.

    The FT8 protocol included in the beta version of WSJT-X has an optional
    user setting to work around the 2.5-second path delay. "For terrestrial
    use, the FT8 decoder searches over the range -2.5 to +2.4 seconds for
    clock offset DT between transmitting and receiving stations," Taylor
    explained. "DT" represents the difference between the transmission time
    and actual time. "When 'Decode after EME delay' is checked on the
    WSJT-X 'Settings' screen, the accessible DT range becomes -0.5 to +4.4
    seconds. Just right for EME."

    As Taylor explained in his post, FT8 uses 8-GFSK modulation with tones
    separated by 6.25 Hz. At the time of the contact, the expected Doppler
    spread on the W2HRO - PA2V EME path was 8 Hz, which would cause some
    additional loss in sensitivity. Despite the path losses, however, copy
    between W2HRO and PA2V was "solid in both directions," Taylor said.

    Taylor said that when he was active in EME contests on 144 MHz, he was
    always frustrated that, even with reasonably strong signals, the
    maximum JT65 contact rate is about 12 per hour. "With FT8, you can do
    40 per hour, as long as workable stations are available," he said.

    As for using FT8 for EME contacts on 1296 MHz, Taylor said it "might
    sometimes work, but Doppler spread will probably make standard FT8 a
    problem." Given sufficient interest, however, he said the WSJT-X
    development team could design an FT8B or FT8C with wider tone

    Joe Taylor, K1JT. [Bob
    Inderbitzen, NQ1R, photo]

    spacing. He encouraged the use of FT8 for moonbounce on 144, 432, and
    1296 MHz and asked users to report their results to the development
    team.

    "A 'slow FT8' mode is indeed a sensitivity winner on suitable
    propagation paths," he said in a later Moon-Net post. "We are busy
    implementing such a mode, but with particular emphasis on its use on
    the LF and MF bands."

    Taylor said FT8 has the operational advantage of putting all users in
    one (or a few) narrow spectral slices on each band. "So, it's easy to
    find QSO partners without skeds or chat rooms," he said. "Everything is
    done over the air, with no 'side channels' needed."

    Taylor also remarked in response to posts from those who, like him,
    "love CW."

    "I agree it's a thrill to hear your own lunar echo, and to make CW EME
    QSOs," he said. "Sometimes I pine for the bygone world of commercial
    sailing ships, which happen to be very much a part of my family's
    history," Taylor concluded. "But I know that technologies evolve, and
    the world does not stand still."
    Rocky Mountain Vice Director Resigns to Accept Appointment as Colorado
    Section Manager

    ARRL Rocky Mountain Division Vice Director Robert Wareham, N0ESQ, has
    stepped down from that post to accept appointment as Colorado Section
    Manager. Wareham would succeed veteran Colorado SM Jack Ciaccia, WM0G,
    who resigned effective on June 1 after serving since 2011.

    Robert Wareham, N0ESQ.

    "Jack will be moving to the East Coast to be closer to family and I
    wish him only the best as he transitions to this next phase of his
    life," ARRL Rocky Mountain Division Director Jeff Ryan, K0RM, said in a
    message to his Division. "At the same time, I am sorry to lose such an
    outstanding leader, who has been instrumental in the creation and
    maintenance of the vibrant amateur radio community that exists across
    Colorado today. Jack has been a personal friend and advisor to me for
    many years and I shall miss his thoughtful guidance and his quick
    humor."

    Ciaccia, who is relocating to New Hampshire, said his decision was
    bittersweet. "I am really proud of our accomplishments in the Colorado
    Section during the past 9 years," he said. "I will miss the hams I have
    met here in Colorado and their friendship. I am looking forward to now
    being able to just spend the rest of my days continuing with the
    satisfaction and enjoyment that ham radio has given me over the past 63
    years."

    Wareham would complete Ciaccia's current term, which runs until
    September 30, 2021. An ARRL Life Member, Wareham served as Colorado
    Section Emergency Coordinator since 2011, prior to his appointment as
    Rocky Mountain Vice Director in 2018. He previously served in the Field
    Organization as Colorado's State Government Liaison and as Public
    Information Officer. An attorney, Wareham assisted in drafting the bill
    that created the Colorado Auxiliary Emergency Communications Unit
    (AuxComm) in 2016.

    Ryan said that, while he's sorry to lose Wareham's counsel as Vice
    Director, "I'm certain he will provide for a virtually seamless
    transition."

    A new Rocky Mountain Division Vice Director will be appointed.
    In Brief...

    Islands On The Air (IOTA) users may now obtain contact credits via
    ARRL's Logbook of The World (LoTW). "Islands On The Air (IOTA) Ltd. is
    delighted to announce the implementation of the ARRL application, which
    allows the use of QSO-matching via LoTW," IOTA's Roger Balister, G3KMA,
    said. ARRL Director of Operations Norm Fusaro, W3IZ, points out that
    LoTW has, for years, allowed award sponsors access to a utility that
    lets them verify contacts in LoTW. "The IOTA folks have begun using
    this utility, but still check the QSOs against known IOTA operations,"
    he explained, noting that applicants cannot apply for IOTA awards
    through LoTW. See Instructions for LoTW QSO Matching for details.
    Direct correspondence to the IOTA Support Desk. Read more.

    Several satellite operators have reported that the FM repeater on the
    vintage AO-27 satellite recently has been active for brief intervals.
    When commanded on by control operators, the transponder is active for
    about 2 minutes before it reverts to telemetry transmission only.
    Patrick Stoddard, WD9EWK, points out that AO-27 was never designed to
    be an FM satellite; it lacks the audio filtering typically used in an
    FM receiver, since AO-7's uplink receiver was going to be used for
    data. With the lack of audio filtering on the uplink receiver, AO-27
    was used for tests with D-STAR radios. (The Wayback Machine has
    captures of the former ao27.org website, detailing how those tests were
    done. Two radios were used for those D-STAR contacts -- one for uplink
    and the other for downlink.) Many hope that control stations will
    eventually be able to recover the satellite sufficiently to provide
    more regular FM operation. In the meantime, if you hear the satellite
    active, make your contacts quickly! -- Thanks to AMSAT News Service via
    Patrick Stoddard, WD9EWK

    A pre-hurricane season exercise was carried out on May 16 for radio
    amateurs and the National Weather Service (NWS) in the southeastern US.
    The scenario was a Category 3 - 4 storm making landfall at Panama City
    on Florida's panhandle, and moving through Alabama and Georgia. The
    Tallahassee NWS Office asked amateur radio operators for weather and
    storm damage reports. Exercise nets opened on HF and on a VHF repeater
    (HF turned out to be a disappointment), with stations using Winlink for
    reporting. Stations' weather observations were submitted to the NWS via
    the nets using the NWSChat utility. The Atlantic Hurricane Season
    starts on June 1. -- Thanks to The ARRL ARES E-Letter

    AMSAT has spelled out its GOLF program objectives. AMSAT says the aim
    of its developing "Greater Orbit, Larger Footprint" (GOLF) satellite
    program is to place amateur radio transponders in low-Earth orbit
    (LEO), medium-Earth orbit (MEO), and eventually high-Earth orbit (HEO).
    "The goal of the GOLF program is to work by steps through a series of
    increasingly capable spacecraft to learn skills and systems for which
    we do not yet have any low-risk experience. Among these are active
    attitude control, deployable/steerable solar panels, radiation
    tolerance for commercial off-the-shelf components in higher orbits, and
    propulsion," AMSAT explained. "The first step is to be one or more LEO
    satellites similar to the existing AO-91 and AO-92, but with
    technologies needed for higher orbits." AMSAT says the eventual goal is
    an HEO satellite similar to AO-10, AO-13, and AO-40, "but at a
    currently affordable cost combined with significantly enhanced
    capabilities."

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions

    Note: Many conventions and hamfests have been canceled or postponed due
    to the coronavirus pandemic. Check the calendar of canceled events on
    the ARRL website.
    * July 16 - 19 -- Montana State Convention, Essex, Montana
    * July 24 - 25 -- Oklahoma State Convention, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

    Find conventions and hamfests in your area

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

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    --- SendMsg/2

    --- Squish/386 v1.11
    * Origin: Outpost BBS * Limestone, TN, USA (1:18/200)
  • From Sean Dennis@1:18/200 to All on Fri Jun 5 09:05:18 2020
    The ARRL Letter
    June 4, 2020

    * -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Spring 2020 Section Manager Election Results Announced
    * Dan Grady, N2SRK, Appointed as New Rocky Mountain Division Vice
    Director
    * ARRL Podcasts Schedule
    * WSJT-X Version 2.2.0 is Now in General Release
    * KN6EQU Balloon Wins Cross-Country Educational Challenge Race
    * The K7RA Solar Update
    * Just Ahead in Radiosport
    * Six Meters Recently Running Hot
    * IARU Region 2 Executive Committee Meets in Videoconference
    * In Brief...
    * Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    COVID-19 Impact & News

    Find the latest news and information on the impact of the coronavirus
    pandemic to ARRL members and our global amateur radio community.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Spring 2020 Section Manager Election Results Announced

    Three incumbent ARRL Section Managers were returned to office, while
    one challenger outpolled an incumbent Section Manager (SM) in contested
    elections this spring. Section Manager ballots were counted on Monday,
    June 1, at ARRL Headquarters. Three other incumbent Section Managers
    were unopposed and will continue with new terms of office, while one
    candidate was declared elected as the only nominee for the volunteer
    position.

    In Illinois, incumbent SM Ron Morgan, AD9I, edged out a win over two
    challengers. Morgan received 605 votes, while Thomas Beebe, W9RY,
    garnered 600 votes, and Scott DeSantis, KB9VRW, of Crystal Lake, picked
    up 288 votes. Morgan, of East Peoria, has been Illinois Section Manager
    since February 2017.

    In Maine, challenger Robert Gould, N1WJO, of Casco, topped incumbent SM
    Bill Crowley, K1NIT, of Farmingdale, 196 votes to 179 votes. Crowley
    has served as Maine's Section Manager since 2014.

    In Indiana, incumbent SM Jimmy Merry, KC9RPX, was re-elected with 515
    votes to 384 for his challenger Brian Jenks, W9BGJ, of Fort Wayne.
    Merry, of Ellettsville, has been Section Manager since July 2018.

    In Oregon, David Kidd, KA7OZO, was re-elected over challenger Kevin
    Fox, KU0L, of Damascus, 728 votes to 386 votes. Kidd, of Oregon City,
    has been Section Manager since 2018.

    Bill Ashby, AA6FC, of San Jose, California, was the only nominee for
    the Santa Clara Valley Section Manager position. He will succeed
    Brandon Bianchi, NI6C, who decided not to run for a new term after
    serving since 2012.

    Several sitting Section Managers were the only nominees in their
    respective sections and were declared re-elected. Kevin Bess, KK4BFN
    (Northern Florida); Paul Gayet, AA1SU (Vermont), and Patrick Moretti,
    KA1RB (Wisconsin).

    All new terms of office begin on July 1.
    Dan Grady, N2SRK, Appointed as New Rocky Mountain Division Vice
    Director

    ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, has appointed Dan Grady, N2SRK, of
    Aurora, Colorado, as the new Rocky Mountain Division Vice Director.
    Grady will succeed Robert Wareham, N0ESQ, who has stepped down from
    that post to accept appointment as Colorado Section Manager (SM),
    taking the reins from SM Jack Ciaccia, WM0G, who resigned effective on
    June 1 to relocate.

    "I am delighted to welcome Dan to the ARRL Rocky Mountain Division
    team," Rocky Mountain Division Director Jeff Ryan, K0RM, said. "His
    strong leadership skills and his boundless enthusiasm for amateur radio
    will be a great benefit to the members of ARRL, as well as the amateur
    radio community at large."

    Grady credited Ryan and the Division's Section Managers for keeping the
    Division healthy and strong. "I am humbled and honored to be working
    with Division Director Jeff Ryan as well as the Section Managers
    throughout Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, and Utah," he said. "I am
    equally excited to be working for and serving ARRL members in this
    leadership role. To join the ranks of these exceptional people is an
    honor, and I can assure our membership that the Rocky Mountain Division
    will continue to set many amazing standards for the amateur radio
    community in the years to come."

    A native of southern New Jersey, Grady was licensed in 1992, after a
    middle-school technology teacher inspired his curiosity about ham
    radio. He served in the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) and
    Office of Emergency Management communication support teams in southern
    New Jersey and in the Philadelphia areas in the 1990s. After relocating
    to Colorado in 2014, he helped to found and now serves as president of
    the Parker Radio Association -- a 150-member ARRL-affiliated club.

    Grady enjoys chasing DX on HF and contesting, as well as digital modes.
    He is a vice president and executive team member for a sheet metal
    manufacturing, fabrication, and wholesale company headquartered in
    Denver and is a state chapter board member for a national sheet metal
    contractor association.

    Grady holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Phoenix and
    pursued religious studies at Seton Hall University.

    ARRL Podcasts Schedule

    The latest episode of the On the Air podcast (Episode 5) focuses on the
    various types of modulation and tips on go-kits. The On the Air podcast
    is a monthly companion to On the Air magazine, ARRL's magazine for
    beginner-to-intermediate ham radio operators.

    The latest episode of the Eclectic Tech podcast (Episode 9) includes a
    discussion of CW decoding software, intermodulation distortion, and
    blockchain technology.

    The On the Air and Eclectic Tech podcasts are sponsored by Icom. Both
    podcasts are available on iTunes (iOS) and Stitcher (Android), as well
    as on Blubrry -- On the Air | Eclectic Tech.
    WSJT-X Version 2.2.0 is Now in General Release

    WSJT-X version 2.2.0 is now in general availability release, after a
    short period in beta (or release candidate) status. WSJT-X version 2.2
    offers 10 different protocols or modes -- FT4, FT8, JT4, JT9, JT65,
    QRA64, ISCAT, MSK144, WSPR, and Echo. The first six are designed for
    reliable contacts under weak-signal conditions, and they use nearly
    identical message structure and source encoding. JT65 and QRA64 were
    designed for EME ("moonbounce") on VHF/UHF bands, but have also proven
    very effective for worldwide very low-power communication on HF bands.

    "FT8 is operationally similar but four times faster (15-second T/R
    [transmit-receive] sequences) and less sensitive by a few decibels,"
    developer Joe Taylor, K1JT, explains in the version 2.2.0 User Guide.
    "FT4 is faster still (7.5-second T/R sequences) and especially well
    suited for contesting."

    Taylor noted that even with their shorter transmit-receive sequences,
    FT4 and FT8 are considered "slow modes," because their message frames
    are sent only once per transmission. "All fast modes in WSJT-X send
    their message frames repeatedly, as many times as will fit into the
    [transmit] sequence length," he explained.

    Compared with FT8, FT4 is 3.5 dB less sensitive and requires 1.6 times
    the bandwidth, but it offers the potential for twice the contact rate.

    New in WSJT-X version 2.2.0: FT8 decoding is now spread over three
    intervals, the first starting at 11.8 seconds into a receive sequence
    and typically yielding around 85% of the possible decodes. This means
    users see most decodes much sooner than with previous versions. A
    second processing step starts at 13.5 seconds, and a third at 14.7
    seconds.

    "Overall decoding yield on crowded bands is improved by 10% or more,"
    Taylor said.

    Other changes: Signal-to-noise (SNR) estimates no longer saturate at
    +20 dB, and large signals in the passband no longer cause the SNR of
    weaker signals to be biased low. Times written to the ALL.TXT
    cumulative journal file are now correct, even when decoding occurs
    after the T/R sequence boundary.

    KN6EQU Balloon Wins Cross-Country Educational Challenge Race

    Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) partner
    ISS-Above inventor Liam Kennedy, KN6EQU, of Pasadena, California, has
    been declared the winner of a mid-altitude cross-continent educational
    challenge balloon race. His balloon was one of four launched on June 1
    from the west coast with the goal of being the first to reach the
    Eastern Time Zone.

    Joanne Michael, KM6BWB.

    Coming in second was the balloon of Ted Tagami, KK6UUQ, from ARISS
    partner Magnitude.io.

    It all began when educator Joanne Michael, KM6BWB -- a science coach at
    the Wiseburn Unified School District in Los Angeles -- challenged
    another ARISS partner group to a mid-altitude, cross-continent balloon
    race. Michael has led her students in several balloon launch attempts
    from the Los Angeles area. Given the disruption caused to schools by
    the COVID-19 pandemic, Michael wanted to shake things up a bit and give
    students worldwide a unique distance-learning treat that could safely
    be accomplished during the pandemic. She challenged Tagami, and he
    accepted. On May 31, a fourth team joined in the competition: Steve
    Potter, K7HAK, and Trevor Macduff of Washington.

    Tagami launched his balloon from Oakland, California. Kennedy got wind
    of the idea and also came on board, launching from Pasadena,
    California. Michael set her balloon aloft in Los Angeles, while Potter
    and Macduff's balloon lifted off from southern Washington.

    ARISS, Magnitude.io, and ISS-Above are ISS National Lab Space Station
    Explorer (SSE) partners that work to inspire, engage, and educate
    students in science technology engineering, arts, and mathematics
    (STEM) topics and to pursue careers in those fields.

    The story caught fire on social media, inspiring one teacher to figure
    out how to initiate a launch from her school. "Let's get planning and
    get your thoughts and ideas, and let's make this happen for the
    students," she said in a post.

    Students can still track each balloon's location, altitude, and
    temperature, which are fed automatically via the Automatic Packet
    Reporting System (APRS). The call signs are KM6BWB-9, KK6UUQ-8,
    KN6EQU-2, and K7HAK-11.

    ARISS said the race initiative gave students the opportunity to tally
    and track the states each balloon traveled through and plot altitude
    versus temperature (and other parameters). Also, by researching weather
    patterns, students could make assumptions from their own data. This
    could include speed variations due to weather. They could also predict
    each balloon's flight path and when each might cross the finish line.

    For more information on the balloon launch, lesson plans, and the
    livestream video link, visit the ARISS Mid-Altitude Balloon Race page.
    The K7RA Solar Update

    Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, reports: Two new sunspots emerged this week,
    with a 1-day gap on Tuesday with no sunspots. Average daily sunspot
    numbers rose from 0 last week to 3.3 this week, May 28 - June 3.

    It seems odd, but the average daily solar flux of 69.6 was unchanged
    from the previous 7 days. Average daily planetary A index rose from 4
    to 6, but average middle latitude A index remained at 5.7, the same as
    last week.

    Predicted solar flux over the next 45 days is 70 on June 4 - 20; 71 on
    June 21 - July 4; 70 on July 5 - 17, and 71 on July 18.

    Predicted planetary A index is 5 on June 4 - July 18. That's right:
    Quiet with an A index of 5 on every single day over the next six and a
    half weeks.

    Sunspot numbers for May 28 - June 3 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 11, 0, and 12,
    with a mean of 3.3. The 10.7-centimeter flux was 67.5, 69.6, 70, 70.8,
    69.2, 70.4, and 70, with a mean of 69.6. Estimated planetary A indices
    were 4, 3, 14, 4, 6, 7, and 4, with a mean of 4. Middle latitude A
    index was 2, 4, 13, 4, 7, 7, and 3, with a mean of 5.7.

    A comprehensive K7RA Solar Update is posted Fridays on the ARRL
    website. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the
    ARRL Technical Information Service, read "What the Numbers Mean...,"
    and check out K9LA's Propagation Page.

    A propagation bulletin archive is available. Monthly charts offer
    propagation projections between the US and a dozen DX locations.

    Share your reports and observations.

    Just Ahead in Radiosport
    * June 5 -- HA3NS Sprint Memorial Contest (CW)
    * June 6 -- Wake-Up! QRP Sprint (CW)
    * June 6 - 7 -- PVRC Reunion (CW, phone)
    * June 6 - 7 -- 10-10 International Open Season PSK Contest
    * June 6 - 7 -- DigiFest (Digital)
    * June 6 - 7 -- VK Shires Contest (CW, phone)
    * June 6 - 7 -- UKSMG Summer Contest (CW, phone, digital)
    * June 6 - 7 -- Kentucky QSO Party (CW, phone, digital)
    * June 6 - 7 -- Dutch Kingdom Contest (CW, phone)
    * June 6 - 7 -- RSGB National Field Day (CW)
    * June 7 -- Cookie Crumble QRP Contest (CW, phone, digital)
    * June 10 -- NAQCC CW Sprint
    * June 10 -- RSGB 80-Meter Club Championship, CW

    See the ARRL Contest Calendar for more information. For in-depth
    reporting on amateur radio contesting, subscribe to The ARRL Contest
    Update via your ARRL member profile email preferences.
    Six Meters Recently Running Hot

    In recent days, 6 meters has been living up to its nickname -- "the
    magic band." On May 30 at around 1200 UTC, Rich Zwirko, K1HTV, in
    Virginia, worked Nicolas Sinieokoff, TT8SN, in Chad, who answered his
    CQ on FT8. After the quick exchange, K1HTV alerted several local
    6-meter DXers, who were also able to snag the rare contact. TT8SN was
    able to work into the US mid-Atlantic and Arkansas as well as West
    Virginia on FT8 before switching to CW at about 1300 UTC and then
    alternating between the two modes over the next hour. Yves Collet,
    6W1TA, in Senegal also showed up on the band, and K1HTV and other
    stations were able to put him in the log as well.

    "So the 6-meter E-skip season has begun," Zwirko remarked. "Who knows
    what kind of magic the band will serve up?"

    What's being called a historic opening on 6 meters occurred on May 31,
    when David Schaller, W7FN, in the Pacific Northwest saw the band open
    at about 1430 UTC and stay open for a couple of hours. W7FN worked 12
    DXCC entities on FT8 (on 50.323 MHz); other stations had similar
    success. Schaller said longtime 6-meter DXers from his area reported
    never having experienced a 6-meter opening to Europe like the one on
    May 30.

    On May 28, Bill Steffey, NY9H, just south of Pittsburgh in western
    Pennsylvania, reported working three European stations on FT8 at around
    2200 UTC. "Six [meters] has been great this week," Steve Fetter,
    WA8UEG, in eastern Pennsylvania, observed after working stations in the
    Caribbean and in Europe.

    From Greenland, Bo Christensen, OX3LX, has been showing up on 6 meters
    on FT8 between 2230 and 0000 UTC. He's been reported working into the
    mid-Atlantic stations with a good signal. Mark Murray, W2OR, in
    Florida, took advantage of an opening to Japan on the evening of May
    22. Two Florida stations each worked 20 or more Japanese stations, and
    one was said to have had 40 stations in Japan. W2OR said it was "an
    incredible number for an opening that did not last." On the previous
    evening, a similar opening occurred from Wisconsin and other parts of
    the upper midwest.

    Jim Reisert, AD1C, reported that stations in Wisconsin and Minnesota
    were able to work Hawaii on 6 meters starting around 2300 UTC on May
    24, using FT8. John Sweeney, K9EL, in Illinois, worked three Hawaiian
    stations from 2240 - 2250 UTC. He called it "the best 6-meter opening
    to Hawaii from W9 that I have seen."

    Kev Hewitt, ZB2GI, in Gibraltar, made his first 6-meter contact of the
    season, working K1TOL, in Maine. ZB2GI said the band sounded dead,
    except for K1TOL's signal. Read more. -- Compiled from reports in The
    Daily DX

    IARU Region 2 Executive Committee Meets in Videoconference

    The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Region 2 Executive
    Committee (EC) held its quarterly meeting on May 28 via
    videoconference. In addition to routine business, the panel was briefed
    by IARU R2 Workshops Coordinator Augusto Gabaldoni, OA4DOH. He reported
    that, as of the meeting date, nearly 400 have subscribed and more than
    2,800 have viewed the first four workshops, either live on Zoom or on
    YouTube. Participants have been from almost every country in the
    Americas, as well as some from Asia, Europe, and other parts of the
    world. Feedback has been very positive, Gabaldoni said, both from
    participants and from Region 2 member-societies, with a common theme:
    "When are you doing another one?"

    All IARU R2 workshops are free and open to anyone interested. They are
    available live on Zoom and on YouTube, where they are recorded and
    available for future access. The introduction to each workshop explains
    what IARU is and the role of member-societies in representing their
    country's amateurs to their regulator and other organizations.
    Participants are encouraged to join and support their IARU
    member-society, if they are not already members.

    High demand exists for additional workshops in both English and Spanish
    -- especially for more advanced Winlink workshops, amateur satellites,
    digital operations, and other topics for additional future workshops.
    Gabaldoni told the EC he will be scheduling more sessions in the near
    future. These will be announced on the IARU Region 2 website under
    "Events," with a new online registration system, courtesy of webmaster
    Christian Buenger, DL6KAC, whom Gabaldoni thanked for his quick
    response and support.

    Other EC business included an amendment to the IARU R2 Standard
    Operating Procedures to formalize the approval process for changes to
    the Region 2 Band Plan between General Assemblies. In the past, changes
    could only be approved at a session of the General Assembly, which
    meets only every 3 years. When the next General Assembly meeting is
    more than 6 months in the future, the new process provides for the Band
    Planning Committee to recommend changes to the Executive Committee for
    consideration.

    If the Executive Committee agrees with the changes, member-societies
    are informed and have 60 days to object, if they disagree. If only one
    objection is received, the changes are approved and will be
    incorporated into the R2 Band Plan and reported at the next General
    Assembly. -- Thanks to IARU Region 2 Secretary George Gorsline, VE3YV
    In Brief...

    The 2020 ARRL/TAPR Digital Communications Conference (DCC) has issued a
    call for papers. Technical papers are being solicited for presentation
    at the ARRL/TAPR Digital Communications Conference (DCC), September 11
    - 13. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year's conference will be
    held online. Papers will also be published in the Conference
    Proceedings. Authors do not need to participate in the conference to
    have their papers included in the Proceedings. The submission deadline
    is August 15, 2020. Submit papers via e-mail to Maty Weinberg, KB1EIB.
    Papers will be published exactly as submitted, and authors will retain
    all rights.

    [IMG]The Yasme Foundation has announced grants of $5,000 each to the
    Foundation for Amateur Radio (FAR) and to ARRL scholarship programs for
    2020. The Foundation Board also named Joe Eisenberg, K0NEB, as a
    recipient of the Yasme Excellence Award. This honor recognizes
    individuals and groups who, through their own service, creativity,
    effort, and dedication, have made a significant contribution to amateur
    radio. The Yasme Excellence Award is in the form of a cash grant and an
    individually engraved crystal globe. The Yasme Foundation recognized
    Eisenberg for "his contributions to amateur radio through his
    kit-building seminars, as seen at the Dayton Hamvention and other ham
    gatherings. He is also editor of the 'Kit-Building' column for CQ
    magazine. Joe exemplifies the 'give back' and 'self-teaching' spirit of
    ham radio, especially in training youngsters," the Foundation said in
    granting the award. -- Thanks to Ward Silver, N0AX, President, The
    Yasme Foundation

    Puerto Rico SM Oscar
    Resto, KP4RF, at his
    solar-powered emergency
    exercise setup.

    A May 30 nationwide American Red Cross communication exercise engaged
    participants across the country. The drill simulated the types of
    message traffic typical during a national disaster response, such as a
    hurricane or wildfire. Among those involved in the drill were members
    of the ARRL Sacramento Valley and San Joaquin Valley Sections. More
    than 30 northern California radio amateurs took part, passing 35 voice
    messages via California Amateur Radio Linking Association (CARLA)
    repeaters, and 66 digital messages using both HF and VHF gateways to a
    simulated Red Cross operations center, and receiving 101 messages. In
    Puerto Rico, ARRL Puerto Rico Section Manager Oscar Resto, KP4RF,
    fielded a well-appointed solar-powered station for HF, VHF, and UHF, as
    well as a laptop and external monitor. At both locations, participants
    received advance email messages to be transmitted, using flmsg, fldigi,
    and Winlink. The Red Cross said it would put some changes into effect
    immediately as a result of the drill.

    The SEA-PAC QSO Party is standing in for the canceled convention. Along
    with many other ham radio events, SEA-PAC 2020, which was to host the
    ARRL Northwestern Division Convention, fell victim to the COVID-19
    pandemic. Standing in for this year's live event will be the SEA-PAC
    QSO Party on Saturday, June 6, starting at 1600 UTC and continuing
    until June 7 at 0400 UTC. "We may not be able to be with our 2,000+
    fellow amateur radio friends this year on this day, but we can still
    have a ham-tastic time on the airwaves," the event's organizers said.
    The event will offer categories for HF and VHF-UHF stations, with all
    modes and high-power, low-power, and QRP categories (greater than 50 W
    and less than 50 W on VHF-UHF). Participants will exchange a signal
    report and the first year they attended SEA-PAC, or "2020" for those
    who have never attended. Awards will be available. Submit a report
    form; no logs are required. For more information, contact Ron O'Connor,
    KD7VIK.

    The 2020 Huntsville Hamfest has been canceled due to the COVID-19
    pandemic, the event's Board of Directors has announced. The Huntsville
    Hamfest was sanctioned as the 2020 ARRL Southeastern Division
    Convention. Full refunds to prepaid commercial and flea market vendors
    will be processed via the mode in which payment was made. Online ticket
    purchases will be credited to PayPal accounts. Embassy Suite Hotel
    reservations only will be automatically canceled. -- Thanks to Hamfest
    Chairman Mark Brown, N4BCD

    The Frankford Radio Club Scholarship will join the growing list of
    scholarships administered by the ARRL Foundation. The Frankford Radio
    Club (FRC) is a very active contesting club centered in Alburtis,
    Pennsylvania, dedicated to increasing operating skill and technical
    expertise through radiosport. The club's motto is "Proficiency Through
    Competition." The scholarship will be $1,500, with the first
    scholarship expected to be awarded in 2020. Applicants must be a US
    citizen and hold a valid FCC-issued amateur radio license. The
    scholarship is open to graduating high school seniors, undergraduates,
    and US military veterans. Applicants must be pursuing a degree in
    electronics, electrical engineering, computer science, or related
    fields at any accredited college, university, or trade school that has
    established programs in the field of study. Preference will be given to
    applicants residing within 175 miles of Alburtis, Pennsylvania. The
    ARRL Foundation will determine award recipients after evaluating all
    applications and disburse the award funds directly to the chosen
    institution of higher learning.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Note: Many conventions and hamfests have been canceled or postponed due
    to the coronavirus pandemic. Check the calendar of canceled events on
    the ARRL website.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    * July 16 - 19 -- Montana State Convention, Essex, Montana
    * July 24 - 25 -- Oklahoma State Convention, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

    Find conventions and hamfests in your area

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

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    --- SendMsg/2

    --- Squish/386 v1.11
    * Origin: Outpost BBS@bbs.outpostbbs.net:10123 (1:18/200)
  • From Sean Dennis@1:18/200 to All on Fri Jun 12 09:05:16 2020
    The ARRL Letter
    June 11, 2020

    * ARRL Contest Program Issues Field Day 2020 FAQ
    * ARRL Volunteer Monitor Program Recognizes Good Operators
    * UK Special Events to Recognize Historic Marconi Factory Radio
    Broadcast
    * The K7RA Solar Update
    * Just Ahead in Radiosport
    * ARRL Announces Updated Features on Contest Portal
    * Deadline is June 15 for 2020 McGan Silver Antenna Award Nominations
    * ARISS Establishes Itself as an Independent Organization
    * Announcements
    * Youth Working Group in IARU Region 1 Inaugurates YOTA Online
    * Indian Amateur Radio Volunteers Support Communication During
    Cyclones
    * In Brief...
    * Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions
    ARRL Contest Program Issues Field Day 2020 FAQ

    The ARRL Contest Program has released some Frequently Asked Questions
    related to the temporary rule waivers for Field Day. On May 28, the
    ARRL Programs and Services Committee (PSC) adopted these provisions
    only for the June 27 - 28, 2020, event: (1) Class D stations may work
    all other Field Day stations, including other Class D stations, for
    points, and (2) an aggregate club score will be published, which will
    be the sum of all individual entries that indicate a specific club.
    Contact the ARRL Contest Program with any questions related to Field
    Day 2020.

    Q: Several of our club members are going to operate independently and
    wish to attribute their scores to the aggregate club score. What call
    sign should they use?

    A: Participants should use their own call signs. Except for Class C
    (mobile) entries, all transmitters, receivers, and antennas located
    within a 1,000-foot-diameter circle may operate using a single call
    sign. This prohibits the use of a single call sign from more than one
    location. Under the 2020 waiver, those operating from home, including
    backyard operations, must use their own station call signs. Multiple
    home stations operating with a club call sign or modified club call
    sign, such as W1AW-1, W1AW-2, W1AW-3, etc., are not allowed.

    Q: How does my club submit an aggregate club score? Does the club need
    to add up each participating member's scores and submit a club entry
    with the aggregate score under the club call sign?

    A: Each participant will submit his or her own independent entry under
    his or her call sign. ARRL will calculate the aggregate score based
    upon the club name entered on the official Field Day entry form via the
    web applet (preferred method) or on the paper Field Day entry form. In
    order for results to be tabulated correctly, all club participants must
    enter the club's official name exactly the same, avoiding abbreviations
    or acronyms. This is important!

    Q: Our group is still planning to operate at the usual Field Day site,
    but some members do not feel comfortable gathering in a large group
    this year. Can we still submit an entry using the club call sign, as
    well as have members operating from home using their own call signs?

    A: Yes. If your club is still hosting a group Field Day effort, it will
    submit an entry as usual, using the club call sign. Club members
    operating at home will submit separate entries with their own call
    signs and will enter the club name on the entry form for club aggregate
    scoring.

    Q: Can a club member operate from home using the club call sign?

    A: Yes, but the call sign may only be used in one location. The member
    must receive permission from the trustee of the club call sign.

    Q: Our club normally enters Field Day in Class A. If we operate from
    our home stations, in which class should individual members enter in
    order to be included in the aggregate club score?

    A: Each member will operate independently and will submit the entry
    using whatever class applies to their operation. Typically, home
    stations running on commercial ac power are Class D, while home
    stations running on battery, solar, generator, or the like (i.e., not
    from ac mains) are Class E. When the results are published, each club
    member will be listed in the results under the class in which they
    operated. For 2020 only, aggregate club scores will be listed by the
    club name in a separate listing. Read more.

    Refer to the complete rules to determine eligibility for bonus points.
    -- Thanks to ARRL Contest Program Manager Paul Bourque, N1SFE,
    ARRL Volunteer Monitor Program Recognizes Good Operators

    Volunteer Monitor Program Coordinator Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH, said
    the program has recognized numerous radio amateurs with Good Operator
    Notices.

    "One facet of the ARRL and FCC agreement that set up the Volunteer
    Monitor Program calls for ARRL to recognize especially good amateur
    radio behavior, in order to encourage compliance with FCC rules and
    further the efficiency of the Amateur Radio Service," Hollingsworth

    said. "Seventeen operators in 15 states received Good Operator Notices
    in the first quarter of 2020. The Good Operator Notices went to veteran
    operators as well as newcomers, including a 13-year-old in North
    Carolina for CW operation during the Youth on the Air Special Event,
    and a 14-year-old in Wyoming for SSB operation."

    Hollingsworth also said that a 2-meter repeater operator received a
    Good Operator Report for establishing and managing a COVID-19 net in
    Pennsylvania, while other operators of various license classes received
    notices for everyday SSB and CW operation on the HF bands. Recipients
    were nominated on the basis of operation observed by Volunteer Monitors
    (VMs).

    According to Hollingsworth, Volunteer Monitors reported 2,035 hours
    monitoring on HF, and 2,856 hours monitoring on VHF/UHF and other
    frequencies during May.

    After kicking off on January 1, the new Volunteer Monitor Program
    ramped up to operational status earlier this spring, starting with a
    "soft rollout" that started on February 1, designed to familiarize VMs
    with issues on the bands and to put into practice what to report and
    what to ignore, based on their training.

    Hollingsworth uses a system called VMTRAC -- developed by a VM -- to
    measure the work of VMs and determine instances that qualify for good
    operator or discrepancy notices, referral to the FCC, or follow-up with
    FCC requests to the VM program. -- Thanks to Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH

    UK Special Events to Recognize Historic Marconi Factory Radio Broadcast

    Two special events in June will mark the centennial of the first
    entertainment radio broadcast. England's Chelmsford Amateur Radio
    Society (CARS) will operate special event GB100MZX on June 13 - 20, and
    Wales' Dragon Amateur Radio Club will operate special event GB0MZX on
    June 12 - 21. Both will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the live
    radio recital by well-known Australian soprano Dame Nellie Melba, on
    June 15, 1920. These special events open the door to some interesting
    radio history.

    MZX was the call sign at Marconi's
    factory on New Street in Chelmsford.

    MZX was the call sign at Marconi's second Chelmsford radio factory on
    New Street, built in 1912. A CARS history recounts that after 1913, all
    G- and M-prefix call signs were allocated to the UK, with the M prefix
    being associated with Marconi. The Marconi factory received a general
    experimental license in late 1919 with the MZX call sign.

    According CARS, in order to test transmitters manufactured in the new
    plant, it became common practice to power them into an antenna and
    invite people to read "railway timetables or similar mundane material"
    over the air.

    Listeners who wrote Marconi suggested that he air more enlightening
    material, so some locals were informally invited into the factory to
    tell stories or even sing from a makeshift studio. Two 750-foot towers
    at the factory supported wire antennas for MZX, which by the time of
    the historic broadcast was running a 15 kW transmitter.

    Dame Nellie Melba. [BBC archive]

    Sensing a potential profit, The Daily Mail newspaper paid Dame Nellie
    Melba to travel to Chelmsford by train, where she was picked up in a
    chauffeur-driven car and taken the long way around Chelmsford on a
    route advertised beforehand to waving crowds before arriving at the
    studio in New Street, just a few hundred meters away.

    The CARS account continues, "Her historic performance was very well
    received, although she realized that possibly future (paid) public
    performances may suffer if she was often 'on the radio,' [and] she
    never made a radio broadcast again.

    "The Postmaster-General was not amused by such trivial use and withdrew
    the license in November 1920 on 'interference grounds,' in particular
    with Croydon airfield. The public clamor for reinstatement was
    substantial, and due to pressure from the Wireless Society of London
    and the House of Commons, the Post Office eventually relented."

    The Wireless Society of London eventually became the Radio Society of
    Great Britain (RSGB), the International Amateur Radio Union
    member-society.

    ditional history of Marconi's manufacturing and broadcasting in the
    UK appears on the CARS website.
    The K7RA Solar Update

    Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, reports: Sunspots made a solid reappearance
    over the June 4 - 10 reporting week, with average daily sunspot number
    rising from 3.3 to 14. As expected, the average 10.7-centimeter solar
    flux rose from 69.6 to 71.3.

    The average daily planetary A index dipped from 6 to 5.1, while average
    daily middle latitude A index changed from 5.7 to 6.1.

    The outlook for the next 45 days has solar flux at 72 on June 11; 70 on
    June 12 - 17; 68 on June 18 - 24; 70 on June 25 - 26; 72 on June 27 -
    July 11; 70 on July 12 - 13; 68 on July 14 - 21; 70 on July 22 - 23,
    and 72 on July 14 - 25.

    Predicted planetary A index is 5 on June 11 - July 3, then 8 and 12 on
    July 4 - 5, and 5 on July 6 - 25.

    Sunspot numbers for June 4 through 10 were 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 14, and
    11, with a mean of 14. The 10.7-centimeter flux was 70.1, 71.1, 71.6,
    71.6, 71, 72.4, and 71, with a mean of 71.3. Estimated planetary A
    indices were 4, 4, 3, 9, 4, 5, and 7, with a mean of 5.1. The middle
    latitude A index was 5, 4, 2, 10, 6, 5, and 11, with a mean of 6.1.

    A comprehensive K7RA Solar Update is posted Fridays on the ARRL
    website. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the
    ARRL Technical Information Service, read "What the Numbers Mean...,"
    and check out K9LA's Propagation Page.

    A propagation bulletin archive is available. Monthly charts offer
    propagation projections between the US and a dozen DX locations.

    Share your reports and observations.

    Just Ahead in Radiosport
    * June 13 -- Asia-Pacific Sprint (SSB)
    * June 13 -- AGCW VHF/UHF Contest (CW)
    * June 13 - 14 -- DRCG WW RTTY Contest
    * June 13 - 14 -- SMIRK Contest (CW)
    * June 13 - 14 -- Portugal Day Contest (CW, phone)
    * June 13 - 14 -- SKCC Weekend Sprintathon (CW)
    * June 13 - 14 -- GACW WWSA CW DX Contest
    * June 13 - 14 -- REF DDFM 6 Meter Contest (CW, phone)
    * June 13 - 15 -- ARRL June VHF Contest (CW, phone, digital)
    * June 15 -- 4 States QRP Group Second Sunday Sprint (CW, phone)
    * June 15 -- RSGB FT4 Contest Series
    * June 16 -- SARL Youth Sprint (Phone)
    * June 17 -- NAQCC CW Sprint

    See the ARRL Contest Calendar for more information. For in-depth
    reporting on amateur radio contesting, subscribe to The ARRL Contest
    Update via your ARRL member profile email preferences.
    ARRL Announces Updated Features on Contest Portal

    The much-anticipated updated features at the ARRL Contest portal are
    here! These web-based tools provide an updated interface to contest
    data for all ARRL-sponsored contest events, including:
    * Contest Score viewer, including a searchable call history and
    records
    * Submitted logs and raw scores for recent events
    * Downloadable Comma Separated Values (CSV) files of contest results
    * Club Competition scores, including total and individual scores
    * Soapbox page for posting and viewing contest stories, photos, and
    other media
    * Downloadable, printable certificates suitable for framing
    * Log Checking Reports (LCRs)
    * Access to public logs
    * Contest results articles and line scores

    ARRL Contest portal users will notice other minor changes to the site,
    as some functions have been moved on the page for better functionality
    and flow. The ARRL Contest portal is now a one-stop shop for all
    ARRL-sponsored contests. From the site, you can access everything, from
    the start time of a contest to your post-event certificate of
    accomplishment. All ARRL contest information is now conveniently
    located in one centralized location. Contact the Contest Program
    Manager for more information on the updated features and on ARRL
    contests in general.

    Deadline is June 15 for 2020 McGan Silver Antenna Award Nominations

    The deadline is Monday, June 15, to submit nominations for the 2020
    Philip J. McGan Memorial Silver Antenna Award, presented annually to a
    radio amateur who has demonstrated success in public relations on
    behalf of amateur radio and who best exemplifies the volunteer spirit
    of Philip McGan, WA2MBQ (SK).

    A journalist, McGan was the first chairman of the ARRL's Public
    Relations Committee, which helped reinvigorate ARRL's commitment to
    public relations, and he served as ARRL PIO for the New Hampshire
    Section.

    Activities for which the McGan Award is presented include those
    specifically directed at bringing amateur radio to the media's and the
    public's attention in a positive light. This may include such
    traditional methods as news releases or interviews, or less traditional
    methods, such as hosting a radio show or being an active public
    speaker. Nominees must be ARRL members.

    The ARRL Board of Directors will choose the award winner at its July
    2020 meeting.

    Nominations must be received at ARRL Headquarters by the close of
    business on Friday, June 15, 2020. Nominations must be on an official
    entry form. Anyone may make a nomination. Read more.
    ARISS Establishes Itself as an Independent Organization

    Going forward, the US arm of the Amateur Radio on the International
    Space Station International working group will be known as ARISS-USA,
    an independent organization. ARISS serves as the intermediary to
    arrange contacts between schools and organizations on Earth and ISS
    crew members. ARISS-USA incorporated as a non-profit entity in Maryland
    in late May. The move will allow ARISS-USA to work independently,
    soliciting grants and donations. ARISS-USA will continue promoting
    amateur radio and science, technology, engineering, arts, and math
    (STEAM) goals within schools and educational organizations. ARISS-USA
    lead Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, noted that the scope and reach of what ARISS
    accomplishes has grown significantly since its modest start in 1996.

    "Our working group status made it cumbersome to establish partnerships,
    sign agreements, and solicit grants," Bauer said. "These can only be
    done as an established organization."

    The move toward becoming an independent organization has been discussed
    for quite a while, ARISS-USA said in announcing the change.

    "ARISS-USA will maintain its collaborative work with ARISS
    International as well as with US sponsors, partners, and interest
    groups," the announcement said. "The main goal of ARISS-USA remains as
    connecting educational groups with opportunities to interact with
    astronauts aboard the [space station]. ARISS-USA will expand its human
    spaceflight opportunities with the space agencies beyond low-Earth
    orbit, starting with lunar opportunities including the Lunar Gateway.
    ARISS-USA will continue to review and accept proposals for ISS contacts
    and expand its other educational opportunities to increase interest in
    space sciences and radio communications."

    AMSAT President Clayton Coleman, W5PFG, said AMSAT would work with
    ARISS-USA to ensure a smooth transition for operations and funding.
    "Many of AMSAT's members are an integral part of the ARISS team," he
    said. "The human spaceflight element of AMSAT's vision has been
    realized through these contributions."

    ARISS-USA can accept tax-deductible contributions via AMSAT-NA through
    the ARISS website. Read more.

    Announcements
    * The 38th Annual AMSAT Space Symposium and Annual General Meeting
    in-person event set to be held in Bloomington, Minnesota, in
    October will be shifted to a virtual, online platform, in response
    to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
    * Astronaut Kate Rubins, KG5FYJ, in mid-October will head to the ISS
    for a 6-month mission as a flight engineer. She will launch with
    Cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov.
    * The FCC has announced a $5 million settlement with
    voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) telephone service provider
    magicJack regarding the company's failure to report its interstate
    revenues and to contribute to the Universal Service Fund.
    * Kylee Shirbroun, KE0WPA, of Worthington, Minnesota, has posted a
    portion of the science fair video she made about amateur radio
    satellites.
    * China's Harbin Institute of Technology has released a short cartoon
    video, Longjiang-2: Journey to the Moon, which tells the story of
    LO-94, the world's smallest spacecraft, which entered lunar orbit
    independently. The video is narrated in Chinese with English
    subtitles.
    * The 2020 edition of AMSAT's Getting Started with Amateur Satellites
    is now available for download on the AMSAT store.

    Youth Working Group in IARU Region 1 Inaugurates YOTA Online

    The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Region 1 Youth Working
    Group inaugurated YOTA (Youngsters on the Air) Online in late May. The
    program is an opportunity for young radio amateurs from Region 1
    (Europe, Africa, and the Middle East) to gather online each month. For
    each session, a YOTA team will present various topics; the initial
    session focused on the Youth Contesting Program (YCP) in Region 1, in
    which young radiosport enthusiasts operate from well-equipped contest
    stations for various events. The sessions, which are open to all and
    conducted in English, also offer the opportunity for participants to
    get answers to questions addressed to the online community. Each
    session wraps up with a prize raffle.

    Region 1 Youth Working Group chair Lisa Leenders, PA2LS, moderated the
    May 28 gathering. She said the YOTA Online approach evolved because a
    lot of activities fell victim to the COVID-19 pandemic. Beyond that,
    she said, YOTA Online provides an interactive venue for those who might
    be unable to attend even in-person activities. The inaugural YOTA
    Online session ran about 1 hour. In addition to social media platforms
    Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitch, Leenders said the session was
    streamed on Amateur Television via the Es'hail QO-100 geostationary
    satellite from a location in Belgium, with good reports.

    Lisa Leenders, PA2LS,
    moderated the YOTA Online
    inaugural session.

    "A huge thanks to everyone watching the first YOTA Online session,"
    Leenders said. "The successful session gathered more than 600 unique
    viewers from all continents except Oceania and Antarctica, as far as we
    could track. Considering this, we can say that the event was indeed
    taking place worldwide."

    YOTA Online was created by a team of young hams from six European
    countries. The first event involved dozens of hours of planning, with
    several team sessions held in advance to make the free YOTA broadcast
    available around the world.

    Leenders asked all who watched the event or viewed it after the fact
    for any feedback. The form also gives viewers a chance to suggest
    topics for future YOTA Online gatherings. The second YOTA Online
    session is set for Thursday, June 25, at 1800 UTC.
    Indian Amateur Radio Volunteers Support Communication During Cyclones

    News media in India report that amateur radio volunteers came to the
    aid of district officials during Cyclone Nisarga. The storm made
    landfall on India's west coast on June 3, leaving at least one person
    dead, but sparing the densely populated city of Mumbai.

    "As all modes of communication collapsed in less than half an hour
    after severe Cyclone Nisarga made landfall, a group of nine independent
    ham radio operators using wireless communication became the eyes and
    ears for the district administration," The Hindustan Times reported.
    The paper said hams were on duty until the evening of June 5, when
    mobile networks returned in some areas. Hams were able to relay
    information regarding deaths, injuries, evacuations, and damage. The
    storm was reported to be the worst in decades.

    In May, The Hindu reported that radio amateurs worked hand in hand with
    the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) ahead of Cyclone Amphan.

    "Amphan tested what we had learnt from a simulation of a real-life
    situation during calamity on an uninhabited island without power and
    conventional telecommunication in Chilika Lake in 2019 and 2020," said
    Gurudatta Panda, VU3GDP, a member of the Amateur Radio Society of
    Odisha (ARSO).

    ARSO members told the newspaper that the Odisha government should
    support and promote amateur radio to increase preparedness at the time
    of communication failure. ARSO has 25 members who regularly update
    their technology and operating skills, the paper said.

    In early May during Cyclone Fani, ARSO members provided support to the
    public in Puri, when conventional telecommunications were cut after the
    storm made landfall. The hams were even able to set up an internet
    connection via ham radio to reach out to social media.

    ARSO said an increase in the amateur population in Odish would benefit
    the government and the public in the cyclone- and flood-prone state.

    "Educated youths, retired communication experts, and non-government
    organizations in all parts of Odisha can be motivated to take up
    amateur radio as a hobby to help their own community at the time of
    need," ARSO President Chandra Sekhar Patnaik, VU2CSF, said.
    In Brief...

    Richard Budd, W0TF, has been appointed as North Dakota ARRL Section
    Manager. He succeeds Nancy Yoshida, K0YL, who resigned on June 2 after
    serving since January 2018. Yoshida will become the vice president of
    the YL International Single Sideband System this year and felt she
    could not do justice to both leadership roles. Budd, who lives in York,
    will complete the remainder of Yoshida's term, which extends through
    September 30. Because Budd was also the only nominee to submit a
    petition to run for the next term of office as the North Dakota Section
    Manager by the June 5 deadline, he will continue as Section Manager for
    the 2-year term that starts on October 1, 2020. A ham since 1980, Budd
    had served as a North Dakota Assistant Section Manager since 2019, was
    Section Emergency Coordinator in 2018, and previously served as North
    Dakota's Official Observer Coordinator. ARRL Radiosport and Field
    Services Manager Bart Jahnke, W9JJ, made the appointment after
    consulting with ARRL Dakota Division Director Matt Holden, K0BBC.

    The Yasme Foundation has made a supporting grant to the Open Research
    Institute (ORI). The grant will enable completion of ORI's Phase 4
    Ground Station Project. ORI is a non-profit IRS 501(c)(3) research and
    development organization that provides all of its work to the general
    public under the principles of open source and open access to research.
    The Phase 4 Ground Station Project is an open-source satellite ground
    station for the amateur satellite service. Phase 4 would provide
    designs and equipment for future 5 GHz uplink and 10 GHz downlink
    satellites -- the so-called "five and dime" paradigm that AMSAT has
    embraced for its future microwave satellites. Michelle Thompson, W5NYV,
    leads the Phase 4 Ground project.

    The IARU has developed a paper addressing increasing noise from digital
    devices. International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) electromagnetic
    compatibility (EMC) specialists Tore Worren, LA9QL, and Martin Sach,
    G8KDF, submitted the paper to the International Special Committee on
    Radio Interference (CISPR) concerning the increasing impact of multiple
    digital devices on noise levels in the radio spectrum. The paper was
    considered at the CISPR Steering Committee in late May, and it was
    adopted for circulation to the CISPR National Committee for comment as
    a Committee Draft, with a view toward its becoming a CISPR Report.
    "IARU hopes that the result of this will be amendments to the way in
    which standards are developed to recognize the need to properly
    consider the cumulative impact of multiple devices," said IARU Region 1
    President Don Beattie, G3BJ, in an IARU news brief. -- Thanks to IARU
    Region 1

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Note: Many conventions and hamfests have been canceled or postponed due
    to the coronavirus pandemic. Check the calendar of canceled events on
    the ARRL website.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    * July 16 - 19 -- Montana State Convention, Essex, Montana
    * July 24 - 25 -- Oklahoma State Convention, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

    Find conventions and hamfests in your area

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    ARRL -- Your One-Stop Resource for
    Amateur Radio News and Information.

    .

    .
    * Join or Renew Today! ARRL membership includes QST, amateur radio's
    most popular and informative journal, and On the Air, a new
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    magazine to receive in print, and can view the digital editions of
    both magazines online.
    * Listen to ARRL Audio News, available every Friday.

    Subscribe to...
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    articles by top contesters, letters, hints, statistics, scores, NA
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    * QEX -- A Forum for Communications Experimenters. Published
    bimonthly, features technical articles, construction projects,
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    Free of charge to ARRL members...
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    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    The ARRL Letter is published Thursdays, 50 times each year. ARRL members
    and registered guests may subscribe at no cost or unsubscribe by editing
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    Copyright (c) 2020 American Radio Relay League, Incorporated. Use and
    distribution of this publication, or any portion thereof, is permitted for
    non-commercial or educational purposes, with attribution. All other
    purposes require written permission.


    --- SendMsg/2

    --- Squish/386 v1.11
    * Origin: Outpost BBS@bbs.outpostbbs.net:10123 (1:18/200)
  • From Sean Dennis@1:18/200 to All on Fri Jun 19 09:05:02 2020
    The ARRL Letter
    June 17, 2020

    * More Amateur Radio Exam Sessions Engineering In-Person, Remote
    Solutions
    * Visalia DX Convention to be Refashioned as Two Virtual Events in
    2021
    * Field Day 2020: Balancing Tradition and Safety in the COVID-19 Era
    * ARRL Podcasts Schedule
    * Support ARRL as You Shop AmazonSmile for Father's Day
    * Youth on the Air in the Americas Announces At-Home Bonus Summer
    Activities
    * Kids Day in the Age of COVID-19
    * The K7RA Solar Update
    * Just Ahead in Radiosport
    * Announcements
    * Tennessee Court of Appeals Affirms Contempt Ruling Against Radio
    Amateur
    * Amateur Radio Discussed at CEPT Meeting
    * Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    COVID-19 Impact & News

    Find the latest news and information on the impact of the coronavirus
    pandemic to ARRL members and our global amateur radio community.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    More Amateur Radio Exam Sessions Engineering In-Person, Remote
    Solutions

    As some states further relax restrictions imposed to minimize the
    spread of the COVID-19 virus, additional teams of ARRL Volunteer
    Examiner Coordinator (VEC) volunteer examiners (VEs) have conducted
    successful sessions. On June 13 at the Clark Township Municipal
    Building, the Electronic Technology Society of New Jersey (ETSNJ) held
    its first exam session since February, with help from several other
    clubs. With COVID-19 precautions in place, the June session was held
    outdoors.

    "We had to have two sessions, because we had 20 candidates on our
    waiting list," said Larry Makoski, W2LJ, a member of the Piscataway
    Amateur Radio Club. Drew Moore, W2OU, was the ARRL VEC liaison. "We had
    the candidates line up their vehicles on one side of the parking lot.
    Directly across from them were the vehicles of the VEs. They were given
    the option of taking the exam inside their vehicle, or if they wanted,
    they could bring a chair and clipboard and take the exam in front of
    their vehicle. Each vehicle was checked for compliance as we collected
    exam fees and checked photo IDs."

    Makoski said social distancing was maintained, and face coverings and
    gloves or hand sanitizer were the order of the day. "We communicated
    with the candidates via a low-power FM transmitter tuned to 88.7 MHz or
    thereabouts, and they could hear us on their FM broadcast receivers
    inside their vehicles," he explained.

    All went smoothly, and the weather cooperated. "Everyone who came
    walked away -- or should I say, drove away -- with either a new
    Technician-class license or an upgrade," Makoski said. A vacant seat
    was left for VE Bobby Cure, W2REC (SK), who had succumbed to COVID-19.
    "We tried to honor his memory by making him present in spirit," Makoski
    said.

    VE teams from the Tri-County Radio Club, the Raritan Valley Radio Club,
    the South Plainfield Amateur Radio Club, the New Providence Amateur
    Radio Club, and the Fair Lawn Amateur Radio Club pitched in to help.

    On the same Saturday in Florida, Doug Wiles, WF4B, reports that the St.
    Augustine Amateur Radio Society (SAARS) VE team held its first exam
    session in 6 months. The session took place in an outdoor pavilion, and
    test areas were disinfected prior to the candidates' arrival. Face
    masks were distributed and social distancing was practiced during the
    session, Wiles said. All three candidates passed.

    On June 14 in Georgetown, Kentucky, VE Ron Malinowski, WX4GPS, with the
    Scott County Amateur Radio Club said 14 candidates passed their tests
    during an indoor session held there. "We took temperatures at the door,
    gave masks to anyone who came without, and we wiped down all seating
    areas after the attendee left," he said.

    ARRL VE Team Liaison Janet Crenshaw, WB9ZPH, in Garland, Texas, told
    ARRL that a trucker signed up for a recent remote exam session.

    "He had a Wi-Fi hotspot in the cab of his truck, so he found a parking
    space, pulled out his iPad and iPhone, and we had our Zoom test right
    there," she told ARRL VEC. "The world certainly has changed, and I've
    been encouraging people to realize that the world of ham radio has to
    change with it."
    Visalia DX Convention to be Refashioned as Two Virtual Events in 2021

    There will be a Virtual Visalia in 2021. Organizers announced this week
    that the newly renamed International DX and Contesting Convention
    (IDXCC) in Visalia, California, will span two weekends next April. Each
    will be a "unique 3-day event" without duplication. Registration will
    begin early next year. The former International DX Convention was
    canceled in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Visalia sponsors said
    the event's new name better reflects what the convention had become
    over the years -- a gathering of avid DXers and contesters from around
    the US and the world. Sponsors said the challenge for planning next
    year's event was whether to prepare for an in-person convention or a
    virtual gathering.

    "Everyone wants to hold out hope for a face-to-face meeting next year,
    but we have to ask, 'What will our new normal lifestyle be like next
    April, and can we guarantee a COVID-free environment for our
    attendees?'" an announcement on the IDXCC website explained. "After
    consultation with a few medical experts, epidemiologists, and longtime
    attendees of IDXCC, we have concluded that for 2021, the right choice
    -- and the safest choice -- is to have a virtual convention instead of
    an in-person meeting."

    Visalia Part 1 will take place on April 16 - 18, 2021, and Part 2 on
    April 23 - 25. The program will include forums, technical talks,
    DXpedition reports, and award presentations.

    Visalia 2021 co-chairs John Miller, K6MM, and Rich Seifert, KE1B,
    invite questions and suggestions via email. Read more.

    Field Day 2020: Balancing Tradition and Safety in the COVID-19 Era

    The fourth full weekend of the month (June 27 - 28) promises to be
    different for many amateurs, as the annual ARRL Field Day operating
    event will be held under unique circumstances. Somehow, the traditions
    of the weekend must be balanced against the exigencies of the current
    need to operate safely, in an appropriate social-distancing
    environment. Most groups have had to adjust their plans to ensure that
    the physical health of their members is protected.

    But that's one of the great things about amateur radio in general and
    Field Day in particular. There is no one single way to approach the
    event, and no single goal that defines the success of the weekend. Fun
    still awaits the tens of thousands of participants. "Business as
    usual!" for many this year becomes, "How do we address these unique
    challenges?"

    An important fact to recognize is the disappointment many will feel at
    not being able to congregate at their tried-and-true operating location
    to do their "usual" thing. Groups in some states face fewer
    restrictions than others -- and that's okay, as Field Day isn't a
    competition. Most groups will not be able to host the traditional
    social aspects of the weekend. The covered-dish extravaganza that
    accompanies a club Field Day may be canceled this year. The interaction
    of sharing amateur radio with the general public as they wander over to
    your setup may be non-existent for many groups. The opportunity to test
    your club's interface with your various served agencies may have to be
    put off for another time. Your annual teaching session with local youth
    groups -- scouts, school clubs, CAP cadets -- may have to be revisited
    down the road, after the situation stabilizes.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Remember: If you operate as a Class D station (home station on
    commercial power), you may work all other stations, including other
    Class D stations, for contact credit. All Field Day 2020 entries
    wishing to have their individual scores credited to their club to be
    aggregated for a "club score" should add the club name to their summary
    sheet. Use the Field Day Web Submission Form to turn in your log.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Yes, things are going to look and feel different in 2020. But when it
    comes to the basic activity of Field Day, the event doesn't have to
    sound different. CW signals will still "light up" the ether. Stations
    calling "CQ Field Day" on phone will still fill the bands. The unique
    "warbles" of tried and true -- as well as new and exciting -- digital
    modes will still beckon the experienced operator and the curious
    newcomer, inviting them to reach out and make contact in this unique
    year of social distancing.

    Over the past few weeks, several articles have been posted to the ARRL
    website with some suggestions on how groups and individuals may vary
    their participation in Field Day 2020 from previous years. The theme
    running through them is one that's familiar to amateurs --
    adaptability.

    Read more on the ARRL Field Day web page. -- Thanks to Dan Henderson,
    N1ND
    ARRL Podcasts Schedule

    The latest episode of the On the Air podcast (Episode 6) details
    everything you need to know about ARRL Field Day, thanks to an
    interview with ARRL Contest Program Manager Paul Bourque, N1SFE. Learn
    how to create a simple station setup as a less-experienced operator.
    The On the Air podcast is a monthly companion to On the Air magazine,
    ARRL's magazine for beginner-to-intermediate ham radio operators.

    The latest episode of the Eclectic Tech podcast (Episode 10) will
    discuss sporadic-E propagation, antenna modeling, a new approach to
    spray-on antennas, and an unusual form of computer espionage.

    The On the Air and Eclectic Tech podcasts are sponsored by Icom. Both
    podcasts are available on iTunes (iOS) and Stitcher (Android) as well
    as on Blubrry -- On the Air | Eclectic Tech.

    Support ARRL as You Shop AmazonSmile for Father's Day

    Father's Day is Sunday, June 21. If you're looking for the perfect
    gift, we invite you to shop at AmazonSmile and choose American Radio
    Relay League Inc. (ARRL) as your charity of choice. With every purchase
    you make at AmazonSmile, Amazon will make a contribution that will help
    to extend ARRL's reach in public service, advocacy, education,
    technology, and membership. So far in 2020, ARRL has received $2,030,
    for a total of $40,613. The ARRL Foundation has received $316 this
    year.

    Amazon has the perfect gifts including electronics, apparel, ham radio
    gear, and more. Get something extra special for Dad this year, while
    supporting his favorite hobby. Bookmark the ARRL link and support
    amateur radio and ARRL every time you shop online. AmazonSmile
    customers can now support ARRL in the Amazon shopping app on iOS and
    Android mobile phones.

    Follow these instructions to turn on AmazonSmile and start generating
    donations:
    * Open the Amazon Shopping app on your device.
    * Go into the main menu of the Amazon Shopping app
    * Tap Settings, choose AmazonSmile, and follow the onscreen prompts
    to complete the process.

    Click here for instructions on updating your Amazon Shopping app.
    Youth on the Air in the Americas Announces At-Home Bonus Summer
    Activities

    Youth on the Air in the Americas is planning additional home-based
    activities for this summer, due to the postponement of its inaugural
    summer camp at the National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting in
    West Chester Township, Ohio. Virtual YOTA Day will take place on
    Wednesday, June 24. Activities will include a series of youth-led
    forums and some competitions that can be done from home -- even without
    a radio. Virtual YOTA Day begins at 1800 UTC on June 24 and continues
    until 2400 UTC.

    Those who had been selected to attend YOTA camp 2020 will be able to
    meet on Zoom for a day of learning and fun, plus a chance to win
    prizes, but anyone interested will be able to get in on Virtual YOTA
    Day via the official Youth on the Air YouTube channel and play along at
    home. Some activities will include learning how to track down the
    location of a transmitter without leaving your chair, sharpening
    contesting skills, and more.

    During the week of June 21 - 26, when the camp was to take place,
    special event station W8Y will be on the air on all bands and modes.
    Those selected to attend YOTA Camp 2020 will take turns operating as
    W8Y throughout the week from the station of their own choosing. Campers
    should contact Marty Sullaway, NN1C, to be added to the schedule.

    Youth on the Air will operate Field Day using a remote station in
    southwestern Ohio. Logging will be done by remote desktop. Campers can
    sign up at YouthOnTheAir.org for a time slot on the remote station
    provided by Jay Slough, K4ZLE. Contact Chris Brault, KD8YVJ, with
    questions.

    Youth on the Air will be a club choice for Field Day score submissions.
    Participating operators age 25 or younger choosing to operate Field Day
    from a home station can contribute their scores to an aggregate club
    score for this year only. Enter "Youth on the Air" as the club name on
    the Field Day entry.

    More information about YOTA in the Americas can be found at
    YouthOnTheAir.org and on YOTAregion2 on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram,
    and YouTube.

    Kids Day in the Age of COVID-19

    Under normal circumstances, Kids Day on Saturday, June 20, would offer
    an opportunity for individual radio amateurs or clubs to introduce the
    next generation to amateur radio. This year, however, Kids Day is
    likely to look a bit different, due to precautions -- both advised and
    in place -- during the COVID-19 pandemic. ARRL recommends that mentors
    and young operators adhere to prescribed COVID-19 guidelines in these
    difficult times.

    "We encourage you to take the advice of your local and regional health
    officials as to whether it's wise to gather in groups and what
    precautions are necessary," ARRL Contest Program Manager Paul Bourque,
    N1SFE, allowed. "If inviting individual youngsters or groups into your
    shack is not advisable, look instead into other ways of mentoring
    youngsters."

    One possibility, Bourque said, is mentoring over social media, via
    Zoom, or using other non-contact means. "This year might not be the
    time to invite youngsters into your shack, but that doesn't mean that
    you cannot encourage the next generation of amateur radio operators,"
    he said. "Of course, if you have kids at home you've been trying to
    interest in ham radio, Kids Day offers the perfect framework, and
    COVID-19 precautions would not be necessary."

    Kids Day gets under way on Saturday, June 20 at 1800 UTC and concludes
    at 2359 UTC. Sponsored by the Boring (Oregon) Amateur Radio Club, the
    suggested exchange is first name, age, location, and favorite color.
    Beyond that, contacts can be as long or as short as each participant
    prefers.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Look for activity on these frequencies: 10 meters: 28.350 - 28.400 MHz;
    12 meters: 24.960 - 24.980 MHz; 15 meters: 21.360 - 21.400 MHz; 17
    meters: 18.140 - 18.145 MHz; 20 meters: 14.270 - 14.300 MHz; 40 meters:
    7.270 - 7.290 MHz, and 80 meters: 3.740 - 3.940 MHz. Repeater contacts
    are okay with permission of the repeater owner.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    As with any on-the-air activity that includes unlicensed individuals,
    control operators must observe third-party traffic restrictions when
    making DX contacts. ditional details are on the ARRL website.
    The K7RA Solar Update

    Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, reports: We just experienced a nearly 2-week
    period of daily sunspots! It's been quite some time since we've
    witnessed a continuous string of activity like this. January 24 -
    February 1 were 9 consecutive days with sunspot activity, but you'd
    have to go back to May 3 -18 of last year to find a longer period. This
    is a possible indication that we've moved past the sunspot minimum.

    Average daily sunspot number for the June 11 - 17 reporting week was
    7.9, down from 14 over the previous 7 days. Average solar flux slipped
    from 71.3 to 70.

    The planetary A index went from 5.1 to 3.9, and middle latitude numbers
    dipped from 6.1 to 4.9. The predicted planetary A index is 4 from June
    18 - August 1. This is unusual, since predicted A index values have
    never been lower than 5.

    Predicted solar flux for the next 45 days is 70 on June 18-25, abruptly
    jumping to 77 from June 26 - August 1, also unusual.

    Sunspot numbers for June 11 - 17 were 11, 11, 11, 11, 11, 0, and 0, for
    a mean of 7.9. The 10.7-centimeter flux was 71.5, 70.5, 69.4, 70.2,
    70.4, 69.3, and 68.8, for a mean of 70. Estimated planetary A indices
    were 4, 4, 3, 2, 4, 5, and 5, for a mean of 3.9. Middle latitude A
    index was 4, 6, 4, 3, 5, 7, and 5, for a mean of 4.9.

    A comprehensive K7RA Solar Update is posted Fridays on the ARRL
    website. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the
    ARRL Technical Information Service, read "What the Numbers Mean...,"
    and check out K9LA's Propagation Page.

    A propagation bulletin archive is available. Monthly charts offer
    propagation projections between the US and a dozen DX locations.

    Share your reports and observations.

    Just Ahead in Radiosport
    * June 20 -- Kids Day (Phone)
    * June 20 -- Feld Hell Sprint
    * June 20 -- Battle of Carabobo International Contest (Phone)
    * June 20 - 21 -- All Asian DX Contest, CW
    * June 20 - 21 -- Ukrainian DX Classic RTTY Contest
    * June 20 - 21 -- IARU Region 1 50/70 MHz Contest (CW, phone,
    digital)
    * June 20 - 21 -- Stew Perry Topband Challenge (CW)
    * June 20 - 21 -- West Virginia QSO Party (CW, phone, digital)
    * June 21 -- WAB 50 MHz Phone
    * June 21 -- Run for the Bacon QRP Contest (CW)
    * June 24 -- SKCC Sprint (CW)
    * June 25 -- RSGB 80-Meter Club Championship, SSB

    See the ARRL Contest Calendar for more information. For in-depth
    reporting on amateur radio contesting, subscribe to The ARRL Contest
    Update via your ARRL member profile email preferences.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Announcements
    * International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend (ILLW) 2020 will take
    place over the August 22 - 23 weekend, a week later than usual to
    avoid conflicting with special events that may be on the air to
    commemorate the 75th anniversary of the cessation of World War II
    hostilities in the Pacific.
    * Astronauts Chris Cassidy, KF5KDR, and Robert Behnken, KE5GGX, will
    conduct spacewalks on June 27 and July 1 outside the International
    Space Station. The activities will begin the process of replacing
    batteries for one of the power channels on the orbiting laboratory.

    * A June 13 SpaceX Falcon 9 vehicle launch placed another 58 Starlink
    satellites into orbit, bringing the total of the internet service
    satellites to 540. SpaceX has applied to the FCC to put upward of
    30,000 Starlink spacecraft into orbit. "Starlink is designed to
    deliver high-speed broadband internet to locations where access has
    been unreliable, expensive, or completely unavailable," SpaceX
    said. "Private beta testing is expected to begin later this summer,
    followed by public beta testing, starting with higher latitudes."
    * In a video, "The Last Active Morse Code Station in the US," Shannon
    Morse, KM6FPP, of Richmond, California, visits coast station KPH,
    which provided ship-to-shore communication using Morse code.
    Maritime Radio Historical Society (MRHS) volunteers have preserved
    and maintain the station and keep it on the air (along with the
    associated amateur station K6KPH). The COVID-19 pandemic has put
    KPH off the air "for the duration."

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Tennessee Court of Appeals Affirms Contempt Ruling Against Radio
    Amateur

    A Tennessee Court of Appeals has affirmed a radio amateur's liability
    for a 30-day jail sentence for violating a court directive to refrain
    from contacting another radio amateur who had filed a temporary order
    of protection. The appeals court's June 11 determination upheld a lower
    trial court ruling that found Michael J. Mgrdichian, ex-N2FUV, of
    Kodak, in criminal contempt for violating the order by contacting Jamie
    Faucon, N3FA (ex-AA3JF) of Knoxville via ham radio on three separate
    occasions. Mgrdichian appealed, primarily asserting that the lower
    court lacked jurisdiction over the case, because amateur radio is
    regulated by the FCC, a federal agency.

    Faucon claimed that Mgrdichian had "stalked, threatened, and harassed"
    her on multiple occasions between 2016 and 2019, claiming that the
    threats were made via ham radio after Faucon had asked Mgrdichian to
    cease his actions. Faucon claimed that problems between her and
    Mgrdichian began after she complained to the FCC, alleging that
    Mgrdichian was using racially abusive language on the air. That matter
    was not at issue in the appeals court ruling.

    The trial court had issued a temporary protection order for Mgrduchian
    to cease contacting Faucon, "either directly or indirectly, by phone,
    email, messages, mail, or any other type of communication or contact."

    Mgrdichian attempted to have the lower court case dismissed by arguing
    that state courts do not have jurisdiction over any communication
    involving amateur radio. The trial court maintained, however, that it
    did have jurisdiction based on an alleged violation of the temporary
    protection order.

    "The [temporary restraining] order did not prohibit [Mgrdichian] from
    using amateur radio; it did not attempt to establish a permitted level
    of interference; and it did not originate from, or result in, a
    nuisance claim," the appeals court reasoned in its ruling. "Instead,
    the subject matter of this case primarily rests on [Mgrdichian]
    violating the [temporary restraining] order by contacting [Faucon] on
    amateur radio. A party's radio usage -- whether it be commercial or
    amateur -- does not automatically preempt the case from being heard by
    a state court."

    The appeals court determined that the trial court had jurisdiction to
    find Mgrdichian in criminal contempt of court when he violated the
    temporary restraining order by contacting Faucon via amateur radio.

    The appeals court upheld findings that Mgrdichian was in contempt of
    the trial court's order on three occasions, each calling for 10 days in
    jail and a fine.
    Amateur Radio Discussed at CEPT Meeting

    International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Region1 reports the 96th
    virtual meeting of the European Conference of Postal and
    Telecommunications ministrations (CEPT) Frequency Management Working
    Group (FMWG) June 8 - 12 dealt with several amateur radio matters.

    According to IARU Region 1, the European Common Allocation Table (ECA)
    was reviewed, resulting in a revised version for consultation with
    stakeholders. IARU was able to amend the 241 - 250 GHz band entry to
    correct some errors. The state of the 50 - 52 MHz band in CEPT
    countries was also updated to take WRC-19 decisions into account. Last
    year, Ukraine requested that it be included in CEPT ECC Recommendation
    T/R 61-02, the recommendation that defines the Harmonized Amateur Radio
    Examination Certificate (HAREC), and this was agreed.

    Romania had contacted the FMWG chairman concerning the possibility of
    introducing electronic amateur radio licensing. This idea been passed
    to CEPT's Radio Amateur Forum Group for further discussion and possible
    action.

    The meeting also discussed developing a regulatory framework for
    wireless power transfer (WPT) going forward, and attendees agreed that
    the CEPT Spectrum Engineering Working Group should continue to study
    the full range of WPT applications and emissions and that no regulatory
    steps would be taken until that work is complete. Meeting documents are
    available.
    Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Note: Many conventions and hamfests have been canceled or postponed due
    to the coronavirus pandemic. Check the calendar of canceled events on
    the ARRL website.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    * July 16 - 19 -- Montana State Convention, Essex, Montana
    * July 24 - 25 -- Oklahoma State Convention, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

    Find conventions and hamfests in your area

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    ARRL -- Your One-Stop Resource for
    Amateur Radio News and Information.

    .

    .
    * Join or Renew Today! ARRL membership includes QST, amateur radio's
    most popular and informative journal, and On the Air, a new
    bimonthly magazine for beginner hams. ARRL members can choose which
    magazine to receive in print, and can view the digital editions of
    both magazines online.
    * Listen to ARRL Audio News, available every Friday.

    Subscribe to...
    * NCJ -- National Contest Journal. Published bimonthly, features
    articles by top contesters, letters, hints, statistics, scores, NA
    Sprint, and QSO parties.
    * QEX -- A Forum for Communications Experimenters. Published
    bimonthly, features technical articles, construction projects,
    columns, and other items of interest to radio amateurs and
    communications professionals.

    Free of charge to ARRL members...
    * Subscribe to the ARES E-Letter (monthly public service and
    emergency communications news), the ARRL Contest Update (biweekly
    contest newsletter), Division and Section news alerts -- and much
    more!
    * Find ARRL on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter and Instagram!
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    The ARRL Letter is published Thursdays, 50 times each year. ARRL members
    and registered guests may subscribe at no cost or unsubscribe by editing
    their profile.

    Copyright (c) 2020 American Radio Relay League, Incorporated. Use and
    distribution of this publication, or any portion thereof, is permitted for
    non-commercial or educational purposes, with attribution. All other
    purposes require written permission.


    --- SendMsg/2

    --- Squish/386 v1.11
    * Origin: Outpost BBS@bbs.outpostbbs.net:10123 (1:18/200)
  • From Sean Dennis@1:18/200 to All on Fri Jul 3 09:05:16 2020
    The ARRL Letter
    July 2, 2020

    * Prominent Radio Amateur Helps to Lead US Convalescent Plasma
    COVID-19 Expanded Access Study
    * IARU Appoints New Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Coordinator
    * Researchers Use 200 Years of Sunspot Observations to Create "Sun
    Clock"
    * ARRL Podcasts Schedule
    * New Extra Class License Manual and Extra Q&A Now Available
    * ARRL Illinois Section Has a New Section Manager
    * MARS Announces HF Skills Exercise
    * The K7RA Solar Update
    * Just Ahead in Radiosport
    * Annual 13 Colonies Event Now Under Way
    * Announcements July 2
    * Ham Radio Reconnects Boyhood Friends after 60 Years
    * In Brief...
    * Getting It Right!
    * Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions

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    COVID-19 Impact & News

    Find the latest news and information on the impact of the coronavirus
    pandemic to ARRL members and our global amateur radio community.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Prominent Radio Amateur Helps to Lead US Convalescent Plasma COVID-19
    Expanded Access Study

    Well-known contester, DXer, and National Contest Journal (NCJ) Editor
    Scott Wright, K0MD, has been "substantially" stepping back from ham
    radio while offering his expertise to the US convalescent plasma
    COVID-19 Expanded Access Program. The study began in early April under
    the leadership of Principal Investigator Dr. Michael Joyner, MD, of the
    Mayo Clinic; Dr. Peter Marks, MD, PhD -- who is AB3XC -- and Dr. Nicole
    Verdun, MD, of the US Food and Drug ministration; Dr. Arturo
    Casavedall, MD, PhD, of Johns Hopkins University, and Wright, who is
    with the Mayo Clinic.

    "The US Convalescent Plasma Expanded Access Program is a collaborative
    project between the US government and the Mayo Clinic to provide access
    to convalescent plasma for patients in the US who are hospitalized with
    COVID 19," Wright told ARRL. The work has been referenced during White
    House press briefings and in congressional testimony. The US
    government-supported study collects and provides blood plasma recovered
    from COVID-19 patients, which contains antibodies that may help fight
    the disease. The Mayo Clinic is the lead institution for the program.

    "My role was to organize the infrastructure and the research approach,
    and to help lead the set-up of the data collection and of the website
    teams, while overseeing the study conduct and regulatory compliance,"
    Wright explained.

    According to a June 18 Washington Post article, "A large study of
    20,000 hospitalized COVID-19 patients who received transfusions of
    blood plasma from people who recovered found the treatment was safe and
    suggests giving it to people early in the disease may be beneficial."

    An initial safety report on 5,000 patients appeared in May in the
    Journal of Clinical Investigation. The safety study on 20,000 subjects
    referenced in the Washington Post article was published earlier this
    month in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

    Wright said most scientific studies of this magnitude take months to a
    year with planning and execution to get under way. In this case, the
    study team went from zero to 60 in a few short weeks.

    "We started in less than a week. Most studies recruit 2,500 - 5,000
    patients," Wright said. "We have recruited over 30,000 patients in 10
    weeks, exceeding all expectations."

    Hospitals in all 50 states and several US territories are
    participating, Wright said, and more than 8,000 physician-scientists
    are working with the team as investigators at their hospitals. "We also
    helped manage the start-up of collection of convalescent plasma by the
    large blood organizations, such as the American Red Cross, by
    strategically connecting donor pools and people willing to donate with
    the blood collection centers."

    Wright's study responsibilities, which are on top of his regular day
    job, have required him to work daily, including weekends, for all of
    April, most of May, and all of June. "It has been intense," he said.

    Wright said an FDA announcement on the benefit of convalescent plasma
    was expected soon. The FDA has been inviting donations of convalescent
    plasma from individuals who have fully recovered from COVID-19.

    Wright will be the keynote speaker at the QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo
    August 8 - 9 to discuss the study, its results, and, he said, "linking
    it to skills acquired through ham radio. Read more.
    IARU Appoints New Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Coordinator

    The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) ministrative Council has
    appointed Martin Sach, G8KDF, as global Electromagnetic Compatibility
    (EMC) Coordinator, succeeding Tore Worren, LA9QL.

    "EMC is a major challenge for all radiocommunication services," the
    IARU noted. "Radio amateurs are experiencing increased interference
    caused by unwanted radio frequency emissions from a wide variety, and
    rapidly growing number, of electronic devices."

    The EMC Coordinator's mission is to ensure that the concerns and needs
    of radio amateurs are effectively addressed in international standards
    bodies -- particularly the International Special Committee on Radio
    Interference (CISPR) and the International Telecommunication Union
    (ITU) -- as well as in regional telecommunication organizations and at
    national levels through IARU member-societies. Assisting in the effort
    is a network of volunteers with expertise in the field of EMC.

    IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH, said, "The IARU ministrative Council
    is grateful for Tore's leadership and for his willingness to continue
    contributing to this vital work. We are fortunate that someone as
    qualified as Martin is willing to take the reins. He has already
    represented the IARU effectively at important international meetings
    and we look forward to working even more closely with him."

    Radio amateurs throughout the world support the work of the IARU
    through membership and involvement in their national IARU
    member-societies. The IARU needs qualified volunteers in this and other
    fields.

    New IARU Video

    The video "What is IARU?" is now available on the International Amateur
    Radio Union (IARU) Region 2 website.

    "This video explains the mission and roles of IARU to represent,
    develop, and defend frequencies for amateur radio around the world,"
    IARU Region 2 explains. "It also describes the regional organizations
    and the critical roles of its more than 160 member-societies." The
    English-language presentation was developed by the IARU ministrative
    Committee and approved at its meeting last October in Lima, Peru.

    The short video, available in English and Spanish, was produced by IARU
    Region 2 Director Carlos Beviglia, LU1BCE, and Fernando Gomez Rojas,
    LU1ARG. The videos are available in MP4 format.

    IARU Region 2 encourages member-societies and radio clubs to use the
    videos to explain the role and mission of IARU to amateurs, regulators,
    and others.
    Researchers Use 200 Years of Sunspot Observations to Create "Sun Clock"

    Researchers in the UK and the US have developed a new "sun clock" that
    quantifies extreme space weather and pinpoints distinct on/off times of
    high solar activity and space weather. The sun clock will assist in
    planning to protect space and ground-based infrastructure that is
    sensitive to space weather. The study, "Quantifying the solar cycle
    modulation of extreme space weather," was published in Geophysical
    Research Letters. It explains that the sun clock uses the daily sunspot
    number record available since 1818 to map solar activity over 18 solar
    cycles to a standardized 11-year cycle or "clock."

    "Extreme space weather events can significantly impact systems such as
    satellites, communications systems, power distribution, and aviation,"
    a Warwick University news release said, noting that these events are
    driven by solar activity. "By devising a new, regular 'sun

    Multiple solar cycles are mapped
    onto a regular solar cycle clock
    with increasing time reading
    clockwise. Circles indicate the
    cycle maxima (red), minima (green),
    and terminators (blue). The
    10.7-centimeter solar flux (blue)
    and GOES satellite X-, M-, and
    C-class solar flare occurrence is
    plotted. Extreme space weather
    events on Earth seen in the aa
    geomagnetic index are shown as black
    dots arranged in concentric circles.

    clock', researchers have found that the switch on-and-off of periods of
    high solar activity is quite sharp."

    The researchers' analysis shows that while extreme events can happen at
    any time, they are much less likely to occur during quiet intervals.
    The sun clock is aimed at helping scientists to determine more
    precisely when the risk for solar storms is highest and to plan the
    impact of space weather on space infrastructure. This gains importance
    as Solar Cycle 25 is imminent.

    According to the researchers, no two solar cycles are the same, but
    using a mathematical technique known as the Hilbert transform, they
    were able to standardize the solar cycle for the first time. The clock
    revealed sharp transitions between quiet and active periods of solar
    activity.

    "Once the clock is constructed from sunspot observations, it can be
    used to order observations of solar activity and space weather," the
    university said. This includes the occurrence of solar flares and the
    10.7-centimeter solar flux that tracks solar coronal activity.

    The researchers determined that once past on/off times are obtained
    from the clock, the occurrence rate of extreme events when the sun is
    active or quiet can be calculated.

    "Scientists spend their lives trying to read the book of nature," lead
    author and Professor Sandra Chapman of the University of Warwick's
    Centre for Fusion, Space, and Astrophysics, said. "Sometimes, we create
    a new way to transform the data, and what appeared to be messy and
    complicated is suddenly beautifully simple."

    -------------------------------------------------------------------


    ARRL Podcasts Schedule

    The latest episode of the On the Air podcast (Episode 6) details
    everything you need to know about ARRL Field Day, with Contest Program
    Manager Paul Bourque, N1SFE. Learn how to create a simple station setup
    as a less-experienced operator. The On the Air podcast is a monthly
    companion to On the Air magazine, ARRL's magazine for
    beginner-to-intermediate ham radio operators.

    The latest episode of the Eclectic Tech podcast (Episode 11), available
    on Thursday, July 2, will cover Shortwave Radiogram, web-based remote
    receivers, and PSKreporter.

    The On the Air and Eclectic Tech podcasts are sponsored by Icom. Both
    podcasts are available on iTunes (iOS) and Stitcher (Android), as well
    as on Blubrry -- On the Air | Eclectic Tech.
    New Extra Class License Manual and Extra Q&A Now Available

    Go all the way to the top! ARRL has everything you need to pass the
    Amateur Extra-class license exam with confidence.

    [IMG]The ARRL Extra Class License Manual for Ham Radio is your ticket
    to every privilege granted to amateur radio operators -- all
    frequencies, operating modes, and power levels. It has all the
    questions and answers, with detailed explanations, for examinations
    taken between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2024.

    Use this book with ARRL Exam Review for Ham Radio online to review the
    material. You can even take practice exams, so there are no surprises
    on exam day!

    When you've successfully passed the exam, The ARRL Extra Class License
    Manual will serve as your reference as you explore your new privileges!

    If you're looking for a more direct route to studying for the exam,
    [IMG]ARRL's Extra Q&A contains all exam questions and the answers.

    To upgrade to Amateur Extra class, you must already hold a
    General-class license (or have recently passed all of the exam elements
    required for a General-class license).

    The ARRL Extra Class License Manual new 12th edition spiral bound (ARRL
    Item No. 1311, ISBN: 978-1-62595-131-1, $32.95 retail) and ARRL's Extra
    Q&A new 5th edition (ARRL Item No. 1335, ISBN: 978-1-62595-133-5,
    $19.95 retail) are now shipping. Order from the ARRL Store, or find an
    ARRL publication dealer. For additional questions or ordering, call
    860-594-0355 (toll-free in the US, 888-277-5289). Both The ARRL Extra
    Class License Manual and ARRL's Extra Q&A are available as an e-book
    for the Amazon Kindle.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    ARRL Illinois Section Has a New Section Manager

    Thomas Beebe, W9RY, has been appointed as the Illinois Section Manager,
    effective July 1. He succeeds Ron Morgan, AD9I, who stepped down due to
    health concerns that became apparent just as he was ready to start a
    new term. Morgan was re-elected in the spring Section Manager election
    cycle and had served as SM since February 2017. Beebe, who lives in
    Marion, will fulfill the 2-year term that extends through June 30,
    2022.

    Beebe was one of three candidates who ran for the post in the spring SM
    election. He has served as an Assistant Section Manager, Official
    Emergency Station, and a Field Instructor and Field Examiner. Beebe has
    been a ham for more than 50 years.

    ARRL Radiosport and Field Services Manager Bart Jahnke, W9JJ, made the
    appointment after consulting with ARRL Central Division Director Kermit
    Carlson, W9XA.

    MARS Announces HF Skills Exercise

    Members of the Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) will conduct an
    HF skills exercise July 20 - 24 to hone their operating skills and
    messaging-handling capabilities. MARS members will be reaching out to
    the amateur radio community via the 60 meters Channel 1 Net (5330.5 kHz
    dial) twice a day, the SATERN HF net (14.265 MHz), and by contacting
    various stations via HFLink throughout the exercise.

    Participating MARS members will be requesting assistance with
    collecting county status information as well as airport weather
    information, called METARs. MARS members will also be passing ICS 213
    messages to numerous Department of Defense (DoD), federal, and amateur
    radio addressees.

    This exercise will be announced via WWV at 00:10 and via WWVH at 00:50
    starting on or about July 13. WWV and WWVH listeners will be asked to
    take an online listener survey. This HF radio training event will not
    impact regular communications.

    A Department of Defense program, MARS organizes and trains amateur
    radio volunteers to operate in military radio networks to support HF
    radio contingency communications. Among other missions, MARS provides
    communication support to civil authorities and assists in establishing
    normal communication under emergency conditions. -- Thanks to Paul
    English, Chief, Army MARS
    The K7RA Solar Update

    Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, reports: No sunspots this week.
    Spaceweather.com reported a couple of weak, barely emerging spots
    (never numbered) but, judging by their magnetic polarity, were from new
    Solar Cycle 25. We rely on NOAA for official sunspot numbers, and the
    most recent one reported was 11 on June 15.

    Average daily solar flux over the June 25 - July 1 reporting week
    averaged 68.6, up from 67.7 over the previous 7 days. The average daily
    planetary A and the average middle latitude A indices both were 5.5.

    Predicted solar flux over the next 45 days is 68 each day from July 2
    until August 15 -- hardly a promising outlook. Even with no sunspots,
    it would be nice to see solar flux values north of 70.

    The predicted planetary A index is 5 on July 2 - 26; 8 on July 27 - 28;
    5 on July 29 - August 1; 8 on August 2 - 3, and 5 on August 4 -15.

    Sunspot numbers for June 25 - July 1 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, and 0, with
    a mean of 0. The 10.7-centimeter flux was 68.9, 67.8, 68.9, 69.2, 68.7,
    68.1, and 68.9, with a mean of 68.6. Estimated planetary A indices were
    3, 6, 7, 4, 3, 4, and 6, with a mean of 5.5. Middle latitude A index
    was 2, 6, 6, 4, 4, 5, and 6, with a mean of 5.5.

    A comprehensive K7RA Solar Update is posted Fridays on the ARRL
    website. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the
    ARRL Technical Information Service, read "What the Numbers Mean...,"
    and check out K9LA's Propagation Page.

    A propagation bulletin archive is available. Monthly charts offer
    propagation projections between the US and a dozen DX locations.

    Share your reports and observations.
    Just Ahead in Radiosport
    * July 4 -- FISTS Summer Slow Speed Sprint (CW)
    * July 4 - 5 -- DL-DX RTTY Contest
    * July 4 - 5 -- Marconi Memorial HF Contest (CW)
    * July 4 - 5 -- Original QRP Contest (CW)
    * July 4 -5 -- PODXS 070 Club 40-Meter Firecracker Sprint (Digital)
    * July 4 - 5 -- YBDXC 80-Meter Contest (Phone)
    * July 6 -- ARS Spartan Sprint (CW)
    * July 6 -- RSGB 80-Meter Club Championship (CW)

    See the ARRL Contest Calendar for more information. For in-depth
    reporting on amateur radio contesting, subscribe to The ARRL Contest
    Update via your ARRL member profile email preferences.

    Annual 13 Colonies Event Now Under Way

    The annual 13 Colonies special event kicked off on July 1 at 1300 UTC
    and will continue until July 8 at 0400 UTC. Stations representing the
    original 13 British colonies, plus two bonus stations, will be on the
    air with 1 * 1 call signs.

    The event sponsor stresses that participants do not need to work all 13
    colony stations to obtain a certificate and do not need to work the two
    bonus stations for a clean sweep. All HF bands will be in play, with
    the exception of 60 meters, and simplex on 2 and 6 meters is
    encouraged. All modes of operation may be represented.

    This year will mark the 12th occurrence of the event. Look for:
    * K2A, New York
    * K2B, Virginia
    * K2C, Rhode Island
    * K2D, Connecticut
    * K2E, Delaware
    * K2F, Maryland
    * K2G, Georgia
    * K2H, Massachusetts
    * K2I, New Jersey
    * K2J, North Carolina
    * K2K, New Hampshire
    * K2L, South Carolina
    * K2M, Pennsylvania

    Bonus station WM3PEN will be in Philadelphia (the call sign
    commemorates the Pennsylvania colony's founder, William Penn). The
    other bonus station will be GB13COL in the UK.
    Announcements July 2
    * ARRL member Wayne Rash, N4HCR, authored a June 30 Forbes magazine
    article, "Thousands Of Radio Operators Band Together To Practice
    For The Worst," about ARRL Field Day 2020.
    * Radio amateurs and others may listen for ham radio activity from
    the International Space Station (ISS) by monitoring 145.800 MHz.
    * Ken Opskar, LA7GIA, has announced the Jan Mayen 2021 DXpedition,
    using the call sign JX0X, in September of 2021, with an emphasis on
    160 - 30 meters.
    * Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the announced W8S Swains Island
    DXpedition has been postponed until spring 2021 at the earliest.
    * CQ has named Tim Shoppa, N3QE, of Bethesda, Maryland, as the
    magazine's contesting editor. He succeeds Dave Siddall, K3ZJ.
    * AMSAT has designated China's CAS-6 (TQ-1) microsatellite as
    TQ-OSCAR 108 (TO-108). Reports indicate that the transponder is
    active only for intervals of about 2 seconds, but, AMSAT says,
    "With patience, and quick transmissions, QSOs have been completed."