Date: Fri, 17.01.20 10:05
The Weekly ARRL Letter
January 16, 2020
* ARRL On the Air Podcast Premieres January 16
* Leadership Elections to Highlight January 17 - 18 ARRL Annual Board
* US Air Force Space Fence Nearing Operational Acceptance
* Puerto Rico Earthquake Relief Effort Continues, with Help from Ham
* 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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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,
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
"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
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
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
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,
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
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
* 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.
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
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
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,
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
Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions
* January 17 - 18 -- North Texas Section Convention, Forest Hill,
* January 19 - 25 -- Quartzfest, Quartzsite, Arizona
* January 25 -- ARRL Midwest Conference, Collinsville, Illinois
* February 1 -- South Carolina State Convention, North Charleston,
* February 1 -- Virginia State Convention, Richmond, VA
* February 7 - 9 -- Northern Florida Section Convention, Orlando,
* 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.
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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
Free of charge to 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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--- Squish/386 v1.11
* Origin: Outpost BBS * Limestone, TN, USA (1:18/200)