The ARRL Letter for June 21, 2018

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June 21, 2018
Editor: Rick Lindquist, WW1ME

ARRL Home
Page

ARRL Letter Archive

Audio News

 

ARES®
Continues Move Toward Enhanced Training, Paperless Reporting

Amateur Radio Honored in Advance of Field Day 2018
on June 23 – 24

W1AW Announces Field Day Bulletin Schedule

Safety First on Field Day!

The Doctor Will See You Now!

Assigning Kosovo Z6 Call Signs “Unauthorized and
Illegal,” ITU Secretary-General Says

DXpedition Team Sets Sail for Baker Island

Experiments Look to Leverage Low-Latency HF to
Shave Microseconds off Trade Times

Curtis Keyer Chip Developer Jack Curtis, K6KU,
SK

In Brief…

The K7RA Solar Update

Just Ahead in Radiosport

Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division
Conventions

ARES®
Continues Move Toward Enhanced Training, Paperless Reporting

As part of upgrades to the ARES® program,
ARRL will phase out traditional hard-copy report forms later this year in
favor of an online system, ARES® Connect — a new volunteer management,
communication, and reporting system. The system (in beta testing since March
in four ARRL sections with large ARES organizations) will allow ARES
members to log information for ARRL Field Organization handling but does not
change how ARES serves partner organizations. ARES training also is due for
enhancement.

At the Hamvention® ARRL
Membership Forum in May, Great Lakes Division Director Dale Williams, WA8EFK,
who chairs the ARRL Public Service Enhancement Working Group, discussed
dramatic changes occurring among agencies in the emergency/disaster response
sector and the transition to ARES Connect. In his presentation, “ARES
Advances into the 21st Century — a New Program, a New Mission,” Williams
outlined the vision for an ARES comprised of organized, trained, qualified,
and credentialed Amateur Radio operators who can provide public service
partners with radio communication expertise, capability, and capacity.

Goals include aligning the ARES organizational structure with
the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and Incident Command System
(ICS). Emergency Coordinators (ECs) will continue to lead local ARES teams
during an incident, with support from District and Section Emergency
Coordinators.

Changes would encompass additional mandatory
training to include ARRL Emergency Communications courses and the
now-standard FEMA NIMS/ICS courses IS-100, 200, 700, 800, with IS-300 and 400 for
higher levels. Training levels attained would dovetail with three new levels
of ARES participation.

The ARRL Headquarters staff is
undergoing training in ARES Connect administration, with group
registration under way and IDs assigned. ARES-related publications also are being
updated, along with an ARES strategic plan and introductory announcement.
An article on ARES enhancements — once they have been approved by the ARRL
Board of Directors — is set to appear in the September 2018 issue of
QST. Read more.

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The ARES E-Letter for June 20, 2018

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June 20,
2018
Editor: Rick Palm,
K1CE

ARES E-Letter Archive

ARES
Home

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Page

In This Issue:

 

ARRL Public Service Enhancement Working Group Chairman
Updates Hamvention® Crowd on Proposed ARES Changes

National Hurricance Center’s WX4NHC Station Test
Successful

FEMA’s Email Subscriptions: Treasure Trove of
Resources and Info

Letters: Fireman’s Rule on HAZMAT Incidents

Letters: Practice Counts!

New Books: Programming Handheld Ham Radios Gets
Easier

K1CE For a Final: Field Day Safety First

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

ARES Links, Briefs

Sailor Grateful for Maritime Mobile
Service Network Assistance (6/7/18); Montana ARES Group Activated in Advance of Anticipated Flooding
(5/26/18); Puerto
Rico Radio Amateurs Honored by Lawmakers on “el Día del
Radioaficionado” (5/17/18)

ARES Annual/Monthly Reports can be found here,
organized by date, with a link to download a PDF of the full report.

Archives of the ARRL ARES E-Letter going back to the original
issue (September 2005) are available for download.

ARRL
Emergency Coordinators may register their ARES group here for a
group ID.

ARES® Connect

ARES
program administrators at ARRL HQ will phase out the traditional ARES report
forms later this year in favor of an online system called ARES Connect
— a new volunteer
management, communications, and reporting system. The new system will allow
information to be logged by ARES members and managed through the Field
Organization. It does not change how ARES operates when serving a partner entity;
it is simply a system that will make managing volunteers and
incidents/events easier. Beta testing of ARES Connect began in March.

ARRL Public Service Enhancement Working
Group Chairman Updates Hamvention® Crowd on Proposed ARES
Changes

At the ARRL Member Forum at 2018 Hamvention® last
month, hosting Great Lakes Division Director Dale Williams, WA8EFK, chairman of
the ARRL Public Service Enhancement Working Group, spoke about the dramatic
changes that are occurring among agencies serving in the
emergency/disaster response sector. He discussed planning for proposed new guidelines for
participants in the ARES program, including plans for a new volunteer
management software system, called ARES® Connect (see above). Upgrades to ARES
training and resources will ensure the service continues to be a valuable
partner for its served agencies into the future.

Williams’
program was titled ARES Advances into the 21st Century — A New Program, A
New Mission. The vision is for an ARES that is comprised of
organized, trained, qualified, and credentialed Amateur Radio operators
who can provide public service partners with radio communications
expertise, capability, and capacity.

Goals
include aligning the ARES organizational structure with the National
Incident Management System (NIMS) and Incident Command System (ICS). The
Emergency Coordinator (EC) will continue to lead the ARES team locally during an
incident, while the District EC and Section Emergency Coordinator will
continue to serve as resources and support for the EC. ARES Connect is
the new platform designed to support Reporting, Membership, Database –
Portability, Record Keeping, and Statistics.

It is
envisioned that additional training will be mandated, including ARRL Emergency
Communications courses and the now standard FEMA NIMS/ICS courses IS-100,
200, 700, 800, with IS-300 and 400 for higher levels. Other specialty
courses will be required in certain cases such as SKYWARN and other
agency-specific training.

Levels of training attained would dovetail with three new
levels of participation: Level One would be comprised of all entering the
program with no training, while progressing through the ARRL emergency
communications training and the FEMA Independent Study courses 100, 200, 700,
and 800. Level Two would be attained upon successful completion of these
courses, and would be considered the “Standard” level for ARES participants.
Level Three would be attained upon completion of the advanced FEMA courses
IS 300 and 400, which would qualify candidates for the ARES leadership
positions EC, DEC, SEC and Assistants.

Level One participants would
be able to fulfill most ARES duties with the target of attaining Level Two
in one year. Level Two would be considered the normal participant level,
which would gain the participant access to most incident sites and EOCs.
Level Three would convey full access as granted by the Authority Having
Jurisdiction (AHJ), and qualification for ARES leadership.

It is proposed that
ARRL will provide a basic ARES ID, which would convey recognition of
registration with ARES nationally and indicate level of training. No conveyance
of site access is guaranteed. The AHJ would grant an additional ID/pass for
site access, which would be “owned” by the AHJ.

What is Happening Now

The ARES Connect system is currently being
field-tested and implemented, with ARRL HQ staff undergoing training in its
administration, and group registrations currently being made. Group IDs are being
assigned. Beta testing with four ARRL Sections with large ARES
organizations is underway.

The plans as described above are
pending approval by the ARRL Board of Directors. An ARES Strategic
Plan for the ARRL Field Organization, and an Introductory Announcement
are being drafted. Editing/updating ARRL ARES-related publications is
underway.

A full article on the ARES enhancements, once
approved, will appear in September QST.

National Hurricance Center’s WX4NHC Station Test
Successful

Julio Ripoll, WD4R, Assistant
Coordinator for the National Hurricane Center’s amateur station WX4NHC in Miami,
Florida, reported a highly successful annual test event, and thanked all who
supported it so enthusiastically.

WX4NHC operators
conducted its annual station test on Saturday, May 26, 2018 from 9AM-5 PM EDT
(1300Z-2100Z). It marked the station’s 38th year of public service at the
NHC. The purpose of this event was to test station equipment, antennas and
computers prior to this year’s Hurricane Season, which started at the

New National Hurricane Center
Director Ken Graham, WX4KEG, left, special guest operator at WX4NHC for last
month’s annual station test, with station Assistant Coordinator Julio
Ripoll, WD4R. (photo courtesy WD4R)

beginning of this month and runs through November 30th. This
event is good practice for ham radio operators worldwide, and helps NWS
offices across the country become familiar with Amateur Radio communications
support services available during times of severe weather.

Ripoll said “We had a very successful on-the-air test. All of our radios
and antennas worked well (HF, and VHF/UHF systems).” He added, “Even with
our equipment maintenance and software updates, we were able to make more
than 150 contacts nationwide, including with stations in the Caribbean and
South America.” A few dozen contacts were made on the EchoLink Hurricane
Practice Net.

Ripoll offered special thanks to Rob Macedo,
KD1CY, and the VoIP
Hurricane Net team.

Several contacts were made on the
Florida SARNET,
which links over 25 UHF repeaters statewide, including many EOC offices.
Dozens of weather reports were also received from stations using HF
Winlink.

ARES Activates for Wide Area Flooding in Maryland;
Severe Damage in Ellicott City

The
National Weather Service predicted and alerted via WEA (wireless emergency
alerts) and NOAA weather radio of flood warning across numerous locations in
Maryland and the District of Columbia that occurred on Sunday, May 27th. As
many watched Hurricane Alberto, radio amateurs in Maryland watched more and
more rain locally.

By 5 PM heavy rain, as much as 8″ to
10″ soaked portions of central and southern Maryland. And again, much like
2016, flooding with heavy damage occurred in historic downtown Ellicott
City. Other areas also impacted were the cities of Arbutus, Dundalk, and
Catonsville. Perry Hall and Patapsco State Park needed emergency high water
rescues.

While other Maryland jurisdictions received less
rain, upstream flooding continued to flow into the western area along the
Chesapeake Bay through Southern Maryland. ARRL Maryland-DC (MDC) Section
radio amateurs monitored media and checked the civilian APRS weather stations
for added situational awareness.

The MDC Section
Manager, Marty Pittinger, KB3MXM, was monitoring these conditions when he received
several notifications from local radio amateurs of serious flooding
occurring in numerous locations. SM Pittinger immediately contacted his section
staff and decided by 6:30 PM to activate ARES in eight counties of central
Maryland. Anne Arundel, Prince Georges, and Howard Counties covered the
majority of flood affected communities. The Frederick County ARES Emergency
Coordinator offered mutual aid if needed.

Maryland
Governor Larry Hogan declared a State of Emergency at 7 PM. Fifteen minutes later
more than 40 ARES operators reported to their respective 2-meter nets in
five counties.Then, Pittinger contacted Section Traffic Manager Al Nollmeyer,
W3YVQ, to alert him of the potential need for NTS traffic handling
support.

Pittinger maintained contact with Section Emergency
Coordinator Jim Montgomery, WB3KAS, Assistant SM Wanda Montgomery, KA3AHI,
Assistant SM for External Affairs and Public Information Coordinator Ken
Reid, KG4USN, Assistant SM Allen “Brownie” Brown, KZ3AB, and ARRL Atlantic
Division Director Tom Abernethy, W3TOM. These communications continued
throughout the evening.

Operators provided radio
communications covering an area of 70 x 80 miles or more than 5600 square miles for six
counties.

ARES Net Control designated a station to
monitor MDC EchoLink *WASH_DC*. HF 80-meter NVIS coverage was also verified
usable. Other radio operators enlisted SKYWARN® information, and
announced NOAA NWS warnings.

Regular situational awareness
updates were shared throughout the nets to ensure communication readiness for
served agencies, community leadership, neighbors, first responders and
fellow radio amateurs. SM Pittinger had early evening contact with the Maryland
Department of Health Service, part of the Maryland Emergency Management
Agency (MEMA).

Through email and phone correspondence,
the MDC Section was alerted to a potential activation of Emergency Support
Function (ESF) #6 and the need for ancillary radio communication support.
Many county EOCs in affected areas were also activated. [ESF #6 coordinates
the delivery of Federal mass care, emergency assistance, housing, and human
services when local, tribal, and State response and recovery needs exceed
their capabilities.]

Anne Arundel County ARES and Howard
County ARES were in communication with their local emergency management
agencies and were both told to stand by in case of need.

Cellular, commercial and private radio systems continued to function
properly without much congestion or outages during the heavy weather. Local media
outlets provided continuous coverage. There were reports of road closures,
power and natural gas outages, and flooded roads.

The
MDC ARES teams continued their vigilance until 10:15 PM, Sunday, May 28,
2018. Through the use of Amateur Radio’s VHF, UHF, and HF capabilities, voice,
data and CW, messaging and networking of ARES teams consistently
demonstrates their abilities, training and readiness to respond quickly, at any time
– “We are always ready.” — Ken Reid, KG4USN, ARRL Assistant Section
Manager for External Affairs and Public Information Coordinator, ARRL
Maryland-DC Section

FEMA’s Email Subscriptions: Treasure Trove of Resources and Info

FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and formal
partner agency of the ARRL, offers a wealth of information, updates and alerts
on a wide range of emergency and disaster response topics by email
subscription. These topical advisories and alerts are relevant to ARES
participants, and readily subscribed to by clicking here. Simply subscribe by checking the
boxes; unsubscribe by un-checking the boxes. Access your subscriber
preferences to update your subscriptions or modify your password or email address
without adding subscriptions.

Subscribers can opt to
receive FEMA declarations, such as Emergency Declarations, Fire Management
Assistance Declarations, Major Disaster Declarations, Disaster Updates by FEMA
regions of the country, and Updates During Disasters.

Featured FEMA Updates include registration information and updates for America’s
PrepareAthon, which motivates people and communities to take action
to prepare for and protect themselves against disasters. ARRL has supported
the preparedness program, and since 2003, has been an affiliate of Citizen
Corps, under the four charter Citizen Corps programs–Neighborhood Watch,
Volunteers in Police Service, Community Emergency Response Teams and Medical
Reserve Corps. Get updates on 2018 America’s PrepareAthon
plans.

Subscribers can also receive Citizen Corps News and
Updates during disasters, and updates on the Community Emergency
Response Team (CERT) program.

For information on
the Department of Homeland Security’s Center For Faith-Based & Community
Initiatives, and Neighborhood Partnership, check the relevant box.

FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute’s mission is to train,
exercise and educate to improve the competencies of Emergency Management at all
levels. The EMI is home for FEMA’s well known Independent Study (IS)
program, where ARES participants and others can take the NIMS and ICS (and
numerous other topics) online courses. Email subscribers can receive a wide array
of EMI news and updates, including on the Independent Study courses.

Other news and updates are available on topics such as
HAZMAT, IT, Mitigation (Grants Policy), Communications and Outreach, Risk
Analysis Branch, and, of course, the National Incident Management System (NIMS).
Emails are available for the FEMA National Level Exercise, National Response
Framework, FEMA Daily Operations Briefing, and much more.

I’ve been an email subscriber for many of these update and bullletins
for several years now — I highly recommend them. — K1CE

Letters: Fireman’s Rule on HAZMAT
Incidents

In re your article on HAZMAT responses in the April issue
of the ARES E-Letter, I’d like to add that the Fireman’s Rule of Thumb
(pun intended) ensures that you’re a safe distance from a HAZMAT
incident:

If your extended thumb arm’s length does not cover a HAZMAT scene, you’re
too close. If your thumb covers the scene you’re between 1/4 and 1/2 mile
away.

I keep an inexpensive monocular in the vehicle to read a HAZMAT
placard from a safe distance. The Emergency Response Guide is available
for an Android or iPhone here. The price is
right – free – which fits all budgets. — Lew Wallach, N9WL, Albuquerque,
New Mexico

Letters: Practice Counts!

The Pacific Palisades Amateur Radio
Emergency Group (PPAREG) of California has started a communication practice setup
that may be of interest to your readers. The driving factor is that regular
land line phone service is becoming a victim of cord cutting — with
widespread loss of power, it is anticipated that more than half of the residents
will not have recourse to 911 in any form. The 911 system could be down as
well.In such a scenario, in a
disaster situation, radio amateurs can canvass their neighborhoods to
attempt to assess what has happened. So, for our practice sessions, we have
selected a local group of blocks known as the “Alphabet Streets.” The idea is to
observe, collect and communicate. An on-site net control is assigned as a
data collection point, while others are assigned to walk the blocks and
make reports block by block.All
participants rotate assignments and experience all communication positions.
We learn from mistakes and speed of data intake issues. Learning and
proficiency comes from actually performing the functions in the structured
environment communication and data exchange.For data observation practice, we have started with counting parked
cars on a given street, going from intersection to intersection. It’s simple
and non-intrusive. Message traffic counts usually amount to several dozen
per operator rover/base pair for a one hour session. Other practice is to
count other things such as parkway trees, motorcycles and trucks. Then, we
assign these counts real life attributes such as number of residents, gas
leaks, power lines down, residence fires, non-ambulatory injuries, victim
non-responsive, etc. The collected findings are reported out on the
appropriate ICS forms.Our community of
some 30,000 residents is situated between the mountains and the Pacific
Ocean. Landslides can block road access, take down infrastructure and residents
are cut off and left to manage on their own. They are the focus of our
assessments, outreach and communications, to help them get the assistance they
need.

We are interested in gaining more traction for our practice by
establishing some more formal agreements, MOUs, etc. We hold up as a model the
city of Cupertino, which has partnered with the Amateur Radio community to
create a highly tuned and polished communication/emergency response
system. — Scott Reaser, K6TAR, Pacific Palisades, California

New Books: Programming Handheld Ham
Radios Gets Easier

A new Handheld Radio Field Guide may
make it simpler to program radios in the field. Participate in enough
incidents and public service events and you’ll know that sometimes radios need to
be changed on the fly. That’s a capability that’s built in to most modern
handheld ham radios (HTs). But the way it’s done varies from radio to
radio.

A new book may make it easier: The Handheld Radio
Field Guide provides pictures and instructions for front-panel
programming (FPP) of over 65 radios you might see at events and incidents today –
or in a “New Ham” class.

“People who are having
trouble programming their radios need quick solutions, and don’t want to have to
search 200 page manuals, even if they remembered to bring them,” said
author Andrew Cornwall, KF7CCC. “An Amateur Radio event coordinator can hand
this book to a ham who’s having trouble programming, and the problem will get
resolved.” The Handheld Radio Field Guide explains how to set
frequency, offset, tone, and power level for each radio. It then describes how
to write that to a memory, and select that memory. It also provides
instructions on locking/unlocking, adjusting volume and squelch, and resetting the
radio to defaults. The Guide also includes descriptions of common problems
that users of each radio might run into, and how to resolve
them.

The Handheld Radio Field Guide (ISBN 978-0-9996609-0-4)
is published by Listening Bird Press, and is available on Amazon or through
your local bookstore for $22.95. For further information see the book’s
website here. The
Handheld Radio Field Guide may be the solution to front panel programming in
your go bag.

[About the author: Andrew Cornwall,
KF7CCC, VE1CCC, is active in the emergency communications community in Arizona.
He has helped manage and taken part in large scale communications
exercises and public service events. He is an ARES Emergency Coordinator, a manager
of the Arizona Emergency Net–Maricopa training net, and is accredited as
an ICS Incident Communication Center Manager (INCM) and Auxiliary
Communications (AUXCOMM) resource. He is a trainer and volunteer examiner.]

K1CE For a Final:
Field Day Safety First

Have a Field Day Safety Officer, and have a
great, safe Field Day!

There’s a 100-point bonus for groups setting up
Class A stations that appoint a Safety Officer who verifies that all safety
concerns on the Safety Check List (see below, and the ARRL Field Day Packet)
have been met. But, beyond the bonus, in my opinion, every Field Day group
should appoint a Safety Officer to spot and mitigate the potential hazards
that can challenge participants who naturally are often concentrating on
speed of setup, and running up the Q’s. Sometimes shortcuts are taken,
accidents can happen, and occasionally serious incidents occur.

So, in these
days before this weekend’s Field Day, take a time out to ensure that your
Field Day scene is safe. Think Safety First!

Here is the ARRL Field Day
checklist for Safety Officer affirmation and bonus. It’s a good starting point
— identify others on your own!

Safety Officer or a qualified
designated assistant/s was on site for the duration of the event.

Fuel for
generator properly stored.

Fire extinguisher on hand and appropriately
located

First Aid kit on hand.

First Aid – CPR – AED trained participant/s
on site for full Field Day period.

Access to NWS alerts to monitor for
inclement weather.

Tent stakes properly installed and
marked.

Temporary antenna structures properly secured and marked.

Site secured from
tripping hazards.

Site is set up in a neat and orderly manner to reduce
hazards.

Stations and equipment properly grounded.

Access to a means to
contact police/fire/rescue if needed.

Safety Officer is designated point
of contact for public safety officials.

Minimize risks and control
hazards to ensure no injuries to public

As necessary, monitoring
participants for hydration and ensuring an adequate water supply is
available.

________

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

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The ARRL Letter for June 14, 2018

Preview

If you are
having trouble reading this message, you can see the original at:https://ift.tt/2MsMAKw

June 14, 2018
Editor: Rick Lindquist, WW1ME

ARRL Home
Page

ARRL Letter Archive

Audio News

 

Reverse Beacon Network Beta Testing Separate Spot
Stream for FT8

Sailor Grateful for Maritime Mobile Service Network
Assistance

Canadian Radio Amateurs Petition Parliament to End
Deliberate Interference

The Doctor Will See You Now!

Selection of Schools/Groups to Host Contacts with
Space Station Narrowed to Seven

CAMSAT Offers More Details on New Satellites, One
Carrying HF Transponders

Iranian Radars Showing Up on 10 Meters

Attendance Dips at Friedrichshafen’s HAM RADIO
2018

A Fresh Voice for Broadcast Reporter Jamie Dupree,
NS3T

Yasme Foundation Director, Secretary Kip Edwards,
W6SZN, SK

Former Japan Amateur Radio League President Shozo
Hara, JA1AN, SK

In Brief…

The K7RA Solar Update

Just Ahead in Radiosport

Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division
Conventions

ARRL Website, Services to be Down on June 20

The ARRL website and some services will be down for
maintenance for up to 4 hours on Wednesday, June 20, starting at approximately
midnight EDT (0400 UTC on Thursday, June 21). During this period some or all
systems may be temporarily inaccessible, including all content on the ARRL website and the ARRL
Store. Logbook of The World (LoTW) and email will not be affected,
nor should the ARRL Contest Club Eligibility Lists or Contest Log Submission pages. We
apologize for any inconvenience.

Reverse Beacon Network Beta Testing Separate Spot Stream for
FT8

The popular Reverse Beacon Network (RBN) has
announced that it’s now offering — as a beta test — a separate telnet feed
for FT8 spots (telnet.reversebeacon.net port 7001), in addition to the
current spot feed (telnet.reversebeacon.net port 7000), which will be repurposed
to handle only CW and RTTY spots. In addition, a beta version of
Aggregator Version 5 that can handle FT8 spots received from WSJT-X
will be available on the RBN website, with instructions on how RBN node
operators can configure their nodes to spot FT8 call signs on one or more bands;
this will not interfere with the ability to spot CW and RTTY call signs,
the RBN team assured in its announcement, explaining its reasoning for the
move. The beta test follows a limited alpha test aimed at getting a feel for
the spot load and other implications of carrying FT8 spots on the RBN.

“The most striking characteristic of FT8 spots is their sheer
quantity,” the RBN announcement said, citing weekday statistics from May 23 and
24 when FT8 spots represented 86% and 87% of all spots, respectively,
while CW spots were 13% and 14%, respectively, and RTTY spots were below 1%.
Throughput on both days totaled some 30,000 spots.

“Whether due to the startling popularity of the new mode, or to the ability to
spot stations at 22 dB below the noise level, it seems obvious that adding
FT8 spots to our spot flow could have a huge impact on the infrastructure of
the RBN,” the RBN announcement said. “These numbers suggest that if only 20
– 30 RBN nodes added FT8 spots, those spots could outnumber the total CW
and RTTY spots being delivered by the 140 – 150 nodes currently active on
the network, doubling the total required throughput.”

The
RBN team said it wanted to find out whether RBN servers would be up to the
task before the fall contest season. Read more.

Sailor
Grateful for Maritime Mobile Service Network Assistance

Phoenix sailor and radio amateur Timothy Henning, KE7WMZ, has
expressed his gratitude to the Maritime Mobile Service Network (MMSN) for intercepting and handling
his distress call on 14.300 MHz. Net control operator Harry Williams, W0LS,
caught Henning’s call requesting assistance with an urgent medical
condition on May 23. Henning, some 200 nautical miles south of Ensenada, Mexico, in his
sailing vessel Victory Cat, reported that a severe vision problem had
developed in his right eye, and he was seeking immediate medical attention
and advice.

Williams contacted the US Coast Guard in
Alameda, California, relaying all information concerning the medical problem
and staying on the air with Henning for several hours. The Coast Guard, in
turn, relayed the information to the on-duty flight surgeon who advised that
Henning seek immediate medical attention at the closest port of call.

It was decided that Henning would continue on to Ensenada,
and the Coast Guard arranged to have someone meet him there and transport
him to the Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego, while his wife stood by with
the vessel at the dock.

Tim Henning, KE7WMZ, aboard Victory Cat near
Greece.

Ultimately, it
was determined that Henning had a detached retina, and he was transported to
Phoenix for surgery.

“I appreciate, beyond words, that
the Maritime Net was able to help us get in contact with the USCG and
simply be at the other end of the HF radio, helping us through a challenging
time,” Henning told the MMSN afterward. “I especially want to thank Harry,
W0LS. He was extremely professional and invaluable in linking us effectively
with the USCG. We were just completing our 10 years round-the-world sail
voyage.”

The Maritime Mobile Service Net operates daily on
14.300 MHz from 1700 UTC to 0200 UTC. It is celebrating its 50th anniversary
this year.

Canadian Radio Amateurs Petition Parliament to End Deliberate
Interference

Radio Amateurs in Canada — primarily in the Province
of Quebec — have mounted a petition drive
demanding that members of the House of Commons prompt decisive regulatory
action against a Quebec resident who has been causing deliberate interference.
The petition does not spell out the particulars of the allegations but says
the alleged offender — apparently unlicensed — is already known to
authorities. Petitioners claim that the individual’s “malicious intentions” have
been “threatening the security of emergency radio communication in the
province,” and they called upon Parliamentary lawmakers “to ensure the
security” of HF radio communication.

“For 2 years, a Nicolet
resident, near Trois-Rivières [Quebec], illegally set up a transmitting
radio station and is generating interference on purpose,” the petition
recounts. “Amateur Radio operators in Quebec have identified the illegal radio
station and brought it to the attention of Innovation, Science and Economic
Development (ISED) Canada, and its inspectors
seized the individual’s radio equipment.” One of ISED’s functions is
telecommunications regulation.

According to the petition, the
alleged offender “acquired new equipment right away and returned to jamming
the airwaves.” The petition identifies the alleged offender as a male who
“has regular encounters with the law.”

“We are calling on
the government to provide more support to the Department of Innovation,
Science and Economic Development Canada, so that it can intervene more
decisively in this matter,” the petition declared.

Radio
Amateurs of Canada (RAC)
— the country’s national Amateur Radio organization — was noncommittal.
“While we have not had a chance to investigate the specific details of the
incidents [that] the petition refers to, we agree with the importance of
acting to support the security of high frequency communications,” RAC said this
week.

By mid-week, the online petition had gathered
more than 850 signatures, primarily from Quebec and Ontario. Canada has more
than 50,000 Amateur Radio licensees.

The Doctor Will See You Now!

“Field Day
Antennas” is the topic of the current (June 7) episode of the “ARRL The Doctor is In”
podcast. Listen…and learn!

Sponsored by DX Engineering, “ARRL The Doctor is In” is an informative discussion of
all things technical. Listen on your computer, tablet, or smartphone

The ARRL Letter for June 6, 2018

Preview

If you are
having trouble reading this message, you can see the original at:https://ift.tt/2kWxpNa

June 6, 2018
Editor: Rick Lindquist, WW1ME

ARRL Home
Page

ARRL Letter Archive

Audio News

 

ARRL Drone Transmitters Complaint Spurs Proposed $2.8
Million FCC Penalty

Politico
Article Raises Visibility of Amateur Radio Parity Act Progress,
Challenges

FCC Denies Petition Aimed at Preventing
Interference from Digital Repeaters to Analog Repeaters

The Doctor Will See You Now!

New Edition of The ARRL Ham Radio License
Manual
is Now Available

Baker Island KH1/KH7Z DXpedition Team Bracing for
“Grim” Propagation

President Nominates Enforcement Bureau Official to
FCC

Young US Radio Amateur Will Be Sole IARU Region 2
Attendee at YOTA Camp

ARRL Foundation Announces Two New
Scholarships

In Brief…

Getting It Right

The K7RA Solar Update

Just Ahead in Radiosport

Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division
Conventions

Internet Access to ARRL Headquarters to be Disrupted Briefly on June
10

Internet access to ARRL Headquarters will
be disrupted briefly on Sunday, June 10, as AT&T performs a required
security upgrade and reboots an onsite router. The work will take place between
0400 and 1000 UTC. All internet access at Headquarters will be disrupted
during the upgrade; all services will automatically resume as soon as
connectivity is restored. Affected systems include email, bulk mail, reflectors,
Logbook of The World (LoTW), DXCC, National Parks on the Air (NPOTA), and the
ARRL Development page. The ARRL website will remain available. Any orders
taken on the website during the outage should be queued for transmission
once connectivity returns. ARRL has no control over the time or length of the
outage, which could be very short. We regret any inconvenience.

ARRL Drone Transmitters Complaint
Spurs Proposed $2.8 Million FCC Penalty

In the
wake of an investigation resulting from a 2017 ARRL complaint, the
FCC has proposed fining HobbyKing and associated entities $2.8 million for
apparently marketing noncompliant RF devices and failing to comply with
Commission orders. According to a June 5 FCC Notice of Apparent
Liability (NAL), HobbyKing appears to have sold audio/video
(A/V) transmitters intended for use with unmanned aircraft, such as drones,
in some instances marketing them as Amateur Radio equipment.

“The Enforcement Bureau previously issued a Citation
notifying HobbyKing of its legal and regulatory obligations and ordering it
to cease and desist from marketing noncompliant equipment,” the FCC said
in the NAL. “Additionally, the Bureau issued a Citation
against HobbyKing for failing to fully respond to a Letter of Inquiry.
Despite these Citations, HobbyKing has continued its apparently
unlawful practices.”

HobbyKing had denied that it was
marketing its drone transmitters to US customers, but ARRL’s January 2017 complaint
pointed out that ARRL Laboratory Manager Ed Hare, W1RFI, was able to
purchase two drone transmitters from HobbyKing and have them shipped to a US
address for testing in the Lab.

In his 2017 letter to the
FCC Spectrum Enforcement Division, ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD,
described the transmitters as “blatantly illegal at multiple levels,” and
noted that they used frequencies intended for navigational aids, air traffic
control radar, air route surveillance radars, and global positioning
systems and not Amateur Radio frequencies, as the marketer had purported.

ARRL told the Enforcement Bureau in 2017 that the devices
“represent a real and dangerous threat to the safety of flight, especially
when operated from a drone platform that can be hundreds of feet in the air.”
Hare and ARRL Lab staffers Mike Gruber, W1MG and Bob Allison, WB1GCM,
tested the units. Imlay credited ARRL Central Division Director Kermit Carlson,
W9XA, and the Electromagnetic Compatibility Committee he chairs, for
calling attention to the issue and prompting ARRL’s action.

In a related news release this week, the FCC said that while
HobbyKing represented that its transmitters operated in designated Amateur
Radio bands, the Commission’s investigation uncovered that 65 models could
also apparently operate outside of the ham bands. The FCC noted that
Amateur Radio equipment used to telecommand model craft are limited to 1 W
(1,000 mW), but three transmitters included in the NAL “apparently
operate at significantly higher power levels of 1,500 mW and 2,000 mW.”

“The Commission generally has not required amateur equipment to
be certified, but such equipment must be designed to operate only in
frequency bands allocated for amateur use,” the NAL said. “If such
equipment can operate in amateur and non-amateur frequencies, it must be certified
prior to marketing and operation.” The FCC also said in its NAL
that consumers who own such HobbyKing devices “should cease using them
immediately or risk enforcement action.”

This week, the FCC
also issued an Enforcement Advisory cautioning that
drone transmitters must comply with FCC rules in order to be marketed to
customers in the US, and that operators must comply with FCC rules.

In its 2017 complaint, ARRL cited the
Lawmate transmitter and its companion 6 W amplifier as examples of
problematic devices being marketed in the US.

“However, many A/V transmitters that purport to operate on
amateur frequencies also operate on frequencies that extend beyond the
designated amateur frequency bands,” the advisory said. “If an A/V transmitter
is capable of operating outside of the amateur frequency bands, it cannot be
advertised, sold, or operated within the United States without an FCC
equipment certification. Individuals without an amateur license may not use
such radio equipment, if it is designed solely for use by amateur
licensees.”

Imlay said the FCC action addressed “another of many
instances in which unscrupulous importers import and market products in the
US touted as Amateur Radio equipment but actually marketed to the general
public, and which, in this case, have a high potential for abuse and
interference to other radio services and to radio amateurs.” Imlay characterized
the FCC NAL as an important “line in the sand” aimed at keeping
companies from encouraging the general public to use the amateur bands without a
license.

Politico
Article Raises Visibility of Amateur Radio Parity Act Progress,
Challenges

On May 23, the US House version of the National
Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that included the language of the Amateur Radio
Parity Act (HR 555) cleared the House. The following day, a fiscal
year 2019 Financial Services appropriations bill also containing Parity Act
language cleared the Financial Services and General Government subcommittee
of the House Committee on Appropriations and is now working its way through
the full Appropriations Committee. As a result, the Parity Bill has
attracted some attention from outside the Amateur Radio and homeowners association
(HOA) communities.

ARRL
Hudson Division Director Mike Lisenco, N2YBB, who chairs the ARRL Board’s Ad
Hoc Legislative Advocacy Committee, called attention to a recent
Politico article that addresses the
challenges the bill faces.

On May 25, Politico
reported, “Lawmakers are making a multi-pronged push to drive the bipartisan
Amateur Radio Parity Act through Congress and finally bypass objections
from top Senate Commerce [Committee] Democrat Bill Nelson of Florida, whose
allegiance to his state’s homeowners associations drove his panel to yank the
bill from consideration last fall. The legislation, H.R. 555, would direct
the FCC to let Amateur Radio operators get around private rules, like
those imposed by some HOAs, that keep them from putting up radio antennas.”

Politico cited a spokeswoman for the US House
sponsor of the Parity Act, Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), who told the
journal that Kinzinger is “hopeful that Senator Nelson will see its value.”

“When disaster strikes and the power goes out, like when
Hurricane Irma hit Senator Nelson’s home state of Florida back in
September, Amateur Radio operators become critical to emergency response efforts,”
Kinzinger’s spokeswoman said.

At this point, it’s
unclear how the Parity Act language or legislation will fare in the US Senate.
The measure’s Senate sponsor, Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS), told
Politico that it would suit him to see the Senate follow the lead of the House
in the matter. “I think we’ve done enough that Senator Nelson’s concerns
should have been answered,” Wicker was quoted as saying.

Wicker and Nelson are both senior members of the Armed Services Committee,
which will oversee the NDAA.

ARRL General Counsel Chris
Imlay, W3KD, has stressed that the Parity Act “does entitle each and every
Amateur Radio operator living in a deed-restricted community to erect an
effective outdoor antenna. Full stop. That is the principal benefit of this
legislation.” Read more.

FCC Denies Petition Aimed at Preventing Interference from Digital Repeaters
to Analog Repeaters

The FCC has turned away a
Petition for Rulemaking from a Michigan radio amateur that asked the
Commission to amend Section 97.205 of the Amateur Service rules to ensure that
repeaters using digital communication protocols do not interfere with
analog repeaters. Charles P. Adkins, K8CPA, of Lincoln Park, had specifically
requested that discrete analog and digital repeaters be separated either by
distance or frequency and that digital repeaters be limited to 10 W output,
the FCC recounted in its June 1 denial letter, released over the signature
of Scot Stone, the deputy chief of the Wireless Telecommunications
Bureau’s Mobility Division. According to the letter, Adkins had characterized
digital repeaters as “a major annoyance” to analog repeater operators.

“In 2008, we rejected a suggestion to amend
Section 97.205(b) to designate separate spectrum for digital repeaters in
order to segregate digital and analog communications,” the FCC said in its
letter to Adkins. “We noted that when the Commission has previously addressed
the issue of interference between amateur stations engaging in different
operating activities, it has declined to revise the rules to limit a
frequency segment to one emission type in order to prevent interference to the
operating activities of other Amateur Radio Service licensees.”

The FCC told Adkins that current Part 97 rules already address the
subject of interference between amateur stations, prohibiting, among other
things, willful or malicious interference to any radio communication or
signal, and spelling out how interference disputes between repeaters should be
handled.

The Doctor Will See
You Now!

“Field Day Antennas” is the topic of the
latest (June 7) episode of the “ARRL The Doctor is In” podcast. Listen…and learn!

Sponsored by DX Engineering, “ARRL The
Doctor is In” is an informative discussion of all things technical. Listen
on your computer, tablet, or smartphone — whenever and wherever you
like!

Every 2 weeks, your host, QST Editor-in-Chief
Steve Ford, WB8IMY, and the Doctor himself, Joel Hallas, W1ZR, will discuss a
broad range of technical topics. You can also e-mail your questions to doctor@arrl.org, and
the Doctor may answer them in a future podcast.

Enjoy
“ARRL The Doctor is In” on Apple
iTunes, or by using your iPhone or iPad podcast app (just search for “ARRL The
Doctor is In”). You can also listen online at Blubrry, or at Stitcher (free
registration required, or browse the site as a guest) and through the free Stitcher
app for iOS, Kindle, or Android devices. If you’ve never listened to a
podcast before, download our beginner’s guide.

New Edition of The ARRL Ham Radio License Manual is Now
Available

A new edition of The ARRL Ham Radio License
Manual is now available. The exam question-and-answer key is built from the
latest entry-level Technician-class question pool, which goes into effect
on July 1, 2018. Intended for newcomers, instructors, and teachers, this
comprehensive manual covers everything needed to pass the 35-question exam. It
also includes information aimed at helping newcomers get started in
Amateur Radio, from selecting equipment, setting up a station, and making that
first contact.

The 4th edition of The ARRL
Ham Radio License Manual is available in softcover, spiral-bound, or
e-book versions. Designed for self-study and classroom use, with the optional
academic-style spiral-bound edition
(ARRL Item no. 0826, ISBN: 978-1-62595-082-6, $32.95), the manual lies
flat, making it more convenient for all newcomers, instructors, and
teachers.

The ARRL Ham Radio License Manual may be used in
conjunction with ARRL’s Tech Q&A (7th edition) and
ARRL’s online Exam Review for Ham Radio, so prospective licensees won’t
have any surprises on test day.

The ARRL Ham Radio
License Manual is also available in traditional softcover format (ARRL Item no. 0871, ISBN: 978-1-62595-087-1,
$29.95). ARRL Technician-class license materials are available from the ARRL Store and your
local ARRL dealer. To place an order, call ARRL Publication Sales,
toll-free in the US, at (860) 594-0355 or (888) 277-5289.

In addition to the hard-copy manuals, ARRL has released a digital edition of The ARRL Ham
Radio License Manual in Kindle format from Amazon. ARRL also offers Kindle editions of The ARRL General
Class License Manual, The ARRL Extra Class License Manual, and its
question-and-answer study guides, ARRL’s Tech Q&A, ARRL’s General Q&A, and ARRL’s Extra Q&A.

Baker Island KH1/KH7Z
DXpedition Team Bracing for “Grim” Propagation

The 2018
KH1/KH7Z Baker Island
DXpedition, set to begin on June 27 and continue until July 7, is
preparing for less-than-ideal conditions. The sponsoring Dateline DX Association
(DDXA) said this week that its 15 operators are planning to maximize the
times they will be available to work into propagation-challenged regions of
the world. Their effort will include round-the-clock operation on 20
meters. DDXA has permission from the US Fish and Wildlife Service to conduct an
Amateur Radio expedition to Baker Island National Wildlife Refuge (KH1).

“The 2018 DXpedition to Baker Island occurs
during the declining side of the solar cycle where propagation is usually much,
much worse, nearing the bottom,” a Baker Island DXpedition news release
pointed out this week. “In addition, there are limited hours of darkness in
some Northern Hemisphere locations.”

The DXpedition has
embedded tools on its website that DXers can use to run propagation
forecasts specific to grid square and “station properties.” “We have also
run these forecasts by geographic area to know when we should be listening
for you,” the DXpedition organizers said this week. “The forecasts are
grim.”

“Our network of worldwide pilots will also report how
well we are being heard in your area to keep us abreast of propagation,”
the news release added. Operation is planned on SSB, CW, RTTY, and FT8.

The DXpedition’s permit restricts antennas to 43-foot
verticals. “We will be using SteppIR [verticals] and special-design antennas to
take advantage of the saltwater ground,” the release said. KH1/KH7Z will
also use FT8 to find openings that may not be all that obvious and to serve
as a beacon. “When we find an opening, we will put as many radios/modes/ops
on as we can,” the organizers pledged. The DXpedition will use the latest
version of WSJT-X software to incorporate the FT8
“DXpedition Mode.”

Baker/Howland Islands (KH1) is the fifth
most-wanted DXCC entity. Read more.

President Nominates
Enforcement Bureau Official to FCC

Acting on a
recommendation from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, President Donald
Trump has nominated FCC Enforcement Bureau Assistant Chief Geoffrey Starks
to fill the Commission’s sole open seat. If confirmed by the US Senate,
Starks would fill the seat vacated by Mignon Clyburn. Both are Democrats.
Republican nominees have a 3-2 advantage on the FCC, which is headed by Chairman
Ajit Pai. Starks’ term would end in 2022. Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel is
the other Democrat on the FCC.

An attorney who holds
degrees from Harvard University and Yale Law School, Starks has worked in
government for most of his career and joined the FCC staff in late 2015.
Before taking his current job in the Enforcement Bureau, Starks worked for the
Justice Department.

Rosenworcel congratulated Starks on
his nomination and said he would be “a welcome addition” to the
Commission. Clyburn called Starks “a sharp communications attorney committed to
public service.” Republican Commissioner Michael O’Rielly said Starks “will
bring a new voice to important debates before the Commission.”

Young US Radio Amateur Will Be Sole IARU
Region 2 Attendee at YOTA Camp

Thirteen-year-old
Faith Hannah Lea, AE4FH, of Palm Coast, Florida, will be the only
representative of International Amateur Radio Union Region 2 (IARU R2) at the Youngsters on the Air (YOTA)
camp, August 8 – 15 in South Africa. Faith Hannah has mounted a GoFundMe campaign to help cover her trip expenses.

“When I was chosen to go to South Africa for the YOTA summer event, I was
thrilled that the committee thought I was one of the best choices to
represent the United States,” Faith Hannah said. “With the help and generosity of
other hams, I will be able to go to South Africa for the summer event and
learn more about Amateur Radio and other cultures. I am extremely thankful
for any and all donations. To everyone who donates, thank you.”

Licensed at age 10 and now holding an Amateur Extra-class license,
Faith Hannah is very active on the airwaves and in promoting Amateur Radio
via YouTube and elsewhere. She has been a presenter at the Hamvention
Youth Forum. Faith Hannah comes from an all-ham family. Her dad, James, is
WX4TV; her mother, Michelle, is N8ZQZ; her brother, Zechariah, is WX4TVJ;
one sister, Hope, is KM4IPF, and her other sister, Grace, is KM4TXT. Faith
Hannah will be traveling to South Africa from Florida in early August with
her father.

The South African Radio League (SARL) will host 80
young hams between the ages of 16 and 26 at the 2018 YOTA camp, where it’s
expected they will spend some time at the helm of the camp’s station,
ZS9YOTA.

ARRL
Foundation Announces Two New Scholarships

The ARRL
Foundation has announced two new scholarships available to young radio
amateurs to support their post-secondary education, bringing the total number of
scholarships the Foundation administers to 81. The new scholarships have
been endowed by the East Coast Amateur Radio Service (ECARS) and the Palomar
Amateur Radio Club (PARC). Applicants for the ECARS scholarship must be
performing at a high academic level and pursuing full-time studies at a 2-year
vocational school or 4-year undergraduate degree-granting institution, with
no restrictions on the applicant’s field of study.

ECARS Scholarship applicants must be between 17 and 25 years old at the
time of the award and reside in the general ECARS coverage area, which
includes the ARRL Atlantic, Great Lakes, Hudson, New England, and Roanoke
Divisions (Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland/DC, Massachusetts,
Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio,
Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia).
The scholarship award will be $1,000 annually. ECARS will submit an annual
contribution for its scholarship.

Applicants for the
PARC scholarship must be high school seniors performing at a high academic
level and accepted at an accredited college, university, junior college, or a
vocational-technical school in the US. They should demonstrate activity
and interest in radio service or technical proficiency by participating in
some form of radio-related activity, such as emergency communications,
equipment construction, or community service. Preference will go to applicants
who live in San Diego or Imperial counties, California. Applicants are
encouraged to be members of PARC.

The scholarship award(s)
will be $1,000 annually, with the first scholarship awarded in 2019. The PARC
Scholarship Fund Committee will determine the number of scholarships to be
awarded each year. The PARC scholarship is endowed with a $25,000 gift
from the club.

In
Brief…

The ARRL 2018 Field Day Site Locator is live,
and public service announcements are available. ARRL Field Day is June 23 – 24; the
full Field Day announcement is in the May issue of QST, page 85. The
Field
Day site locator is now up and running, and, to date, some 900 sites
are already in the database. To find a Field Day site near you, type your
town and state in the “Location or Call Sign” box at the upper left. Listings
are also available by state or Canadian province. To add a site, visit the
Add Field
Day Station page. Amateur Radio public service announcements (PSAs) for event publicity are now available in audio or video formats. Local
versions have room at the end for clubs to add a tag that includes contact
information. Each spot is 29 seconds. Notify ARRL if you are able to place these PSAs for
radio, TV, or cable system airtime, and let us know if your club tagged a PSA
with local contact information to promote your club. More information is available to promote ARRL Field
Day. Visit the Field Day social media page
for information on promoting your Field Day operation via Facebook,
Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

ARRL will
sponsor a 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season webinar on Monday, June 11, at 8 PM ET
(0000 UTC on Tuesday, June 12 UTC in US time zones). The approximately
90-minute session will address the role of Amateur Radio during the 2018
hurricane season. Anyone interested in hurricane preparedness and response is
invited to attend this online presentation. Those planning to attend should
register in advance. Topics will include a
meteorological overview from the Canadian Hurricane Centre of the upcoming season;
Amateur Radio station WX4NHC at the National Hurricane Center: Who We Are and What We Do; ARRL
Media and Public Relations; the Hurricane Watch Net (HWN); the VoIP Hurricane Net; Salvation Army Team Emergency
Radio Network (SATERN), and ARRL coordination and interface. Webinar registration is open to
all. The webinar will conclude with a Q&A session. For additional
information, contact ARRL
Emergency Preparedness Manager Mike Corey, KI1U.

The
World Radiosport Team Championship 2018 (WRTC 2018) Organizing Committee reports that all
of the station sites it’s selected for the July event in Germany “are
perfect for the competition.” A WRTC 2018 news release said this week, “The
inspections proved that there are enough very well-suited sites with no
topographical or interference problems.” The aim of the exercise is to ensure
a level playing field for all competing teams in terms of location. Ulrich
Weiss, DJ2YA, and Frank Neumann, DM5WF, carefully inspected more than 80
possible WRTC 2018 sites in the region around Muehlberg, Jessen, and
Jueterbog. Neumann noted that five sites did not meet their criteria and will be
replaced with backup sites that they also inspected. WRTC 2018 has a
last-minute opening for a team leader on a wild card team, with DL1CW as the
teammate. The deadline to apply is June 9, 2359 UTC. Applicants should explain why they
are applying as team leader.

The 18th USA
Championships of Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF) will take place June 13-17 near
Truckee, California, some 30 miles southwest of Reno, Nevada. The competition
sites are at about 6,300 feet elevation near Donner Summit. The opening day
will be devoted to foxoring, a combination of radio direction finding and
classic orienteering. The morning of Friday, June 15, will be the sprint
event, followed by a model event for equipment testing and a competitor
briefing. Classic 2-meter and 80-meter competitions will take place Saturday and
Sunday, respectively. These sites have not been used for any previous ARDF
competitions. More information is available. — Thanks to ARRL ARDF
Coordinator Joe Moell, K0OV

Getting It Right

The story “Radio Amateurs to Swap
Spots on International Space Station (ISS) Crew” in the May 31 edition of
The ARRL Letter, failed to include the call sign of Serena Auñón-Chancellor, KG5TMT.

The K7RA Solar Update

Tad Cook, K7RA,
Seattle, reports: Sunspots vanished again after appearing each day from May
21 through June 4. Average daily sunspot numbers for the May 31-June 6
reporting week dropped from 26.3 to 12.9. Average daily solar flux declined from
74.9 to 73.2, the average planetary A index increased from 3.9 to 11.7,
and the average mid-latitude A index increased from 4.7 to 10.4.

Predicted solar flux is 70 on June 7-9; 72 on June 10-17; 70 on
June 15-17; 74 on June 18-23; 72 on June 24-30; 73 and 72 on July 1-2; 70
on July 3-7; 72 on July 8-14; 74 on July 15-20, and 72 on July 21.

Predicted planetary A index is 5 on June 7-12; 10 on June
13-14; 5 on June 15-18; 8 on June 19; 5 on June 20-26; 15, 28, and 18, on June
27-29; 10 on June 30-July 1; 8 on July 2; 5 on July 3-9; 8 on July 10; 5
on July 11-15; 8 on July 16, and 5 on July 17 – 21.

The
Northern Hemisphere summer solstice arrives on June 21, just before ARRL
Field Day. Around this time of year, we should see sporadic-E propagation on
10 meters and sometimes on 6 meters.

Sunspot numbers
for May 31-June 6 were 21, 22, 20, 16, 11, 0, and 0, with a mean of 12.9. The
10.7-centimeter flux was 76.8, 74.8, 74.4, 73.6, 70.5, 71.3, and 71.1,
with a mean of 73.2. Estimated planetary A indices were 12, 26, 17, 9, 5, 6,
and 7, with a mean of 11.7. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 11, 19,
14, 9, 5, 6, and 9, with a mean of 10.4.

Send me your reports or
observations.

Just Ahead in
Radiosport

June 8 — HA3NS Sprint Memorial
Contest (CW)

June 9 — Asia-Pacific Sprint (SSB)

June 9-10

The ARRL Letter for May 31, 2018

Preview

If you are
having trouble reading this message, you can see the original at:https://ift.tt/2kHRPch

May 31, 2018
Editor: Rick Lindquist, WW1ME

ARRL Home
Page

ARRL Letter Archive

Audio News

 

Amateur Radio Emergency Service Teams Activate for
Weather-Related Events

MARS Urging Members to Use Computers that are
Isolated from the Internet

The Doctor Will See You Now!

Eagles Guitarist Joe Walsh, WB6ACU, Promotes
Amateur Radio in Media Announcements

IARU Region 1 Editorial Warns of the Danger of
VHF/UHF/Microwave Spectrum Grabs

Reception Reports Requested as Amateur Radio Heads
to the Moon

Ambitious Arizona STEM Planetary Rover Project is a
Winner

In Brief…

The K7RA Solar Update

Just Ahead in Radiosport

Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division
Conventions

Amateur Radio
Emergency Service Teams Activate for Weather-Related Events

Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®)
teams in three states activated in the past week for weather-related
emergencies.

Montana

YARES member Joe Sok, K9SOK (right), checks in a sandbag
client. [Bill Loman, N7PWC, photo]

The Billings, Montana Director of Emergency Services
activated the Yellowstone County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES)
group (YARES) on May 26 to support radio communication for sandbagging
stations and possible river-level spotting duty in advance of an anticipated
significant flood event, YARES Emergency Coordinator Ron Glass, WN7Y, told
ARRL. Glass said the request from the County Office of Emergency Management
called for staffing five sandbag centers last weekend, “helping to
coordinate logistics and supplies to get tens of thousands of sandbags into the
hands of citizens and communities to prepare for the historic flooding to hit
the area,” Glass said.

Blue Creek Fire Department “went above and beyond, with a homemade
sandbag filler, a military surplus vehicle to haul the sand, and [a few]
firefighters, and they went to homes to help residents deploy the sandbags,” Glass
said. [Lynn Crosby, KE7PZY, photo]

As “sandbag center managers,” he said, the ham radio
volunteers were the only officials on site, logging in everyone who stopped by to
fill sand bags. “As we say in YARES, ‘If you have a radio in one hand, a
clipboard in the other, and you are wearing a safety vest, everyone assumes
you are in charge!'” Glass quipped.

As it turned out, the
record-breaking flooding did not occur, and ARES was able to stand down
after 3 days. Seventeen volunteers staffed locations along the rivers and
bridges that have been trouble spots in the past. Glass said that while
significant rainfall did hit Billings, it was not as heavy as initially
predicted. River levels dropped on Monday by more than 1 foot from what had been
expected earlier, and cooler temperatures slowed the melt of a record snow
pack. By mid-week, though, Glass said he was following new severe weather
forecasts from the NOAA Storm Prediction Center.

Maryland

On May 27, ARES volunteers in the Maryland-DC Section activated in the
wake of regional flash flooding. Especially hard hard was Ellicott City,
where vehicles were washed away by fast-moving flood waters upward of 10 feet
deep. One person died as a result of the flooding.

“As
many watched Alberto, radio amateurs in Maryland watched more and more rain
locally,” ARRL Assistant Maryland-DC Section Manager and Public Information
Coordinator Ken Reid, KG4USN, said on Sunday. “By 5 PM, heavy rain, as much as 8 to 10 inches, soaked
portions of central and southern Maryland.” The flooding disaster was the
second since 2016 in historic downtown Ellicott City, which was still
recovering from the earlier event. Section leadership asked radio amateurs in the
flood-affected areas to check on the health and welfare of their
neighbors. Reid said high-water rescues were needed in Perry Hall and Patapsco State
Park.

When the flooding quickly became serious in
several locations, MDC Section Manager Marty Pittinger, KB3MXM, activated ARES
in eight central Maryland counties at 6:30 PM EDT, and 15 minutes later,
more than 40 ARES volunteers reported to their respective 2-meter nets in
five counties. The majority of flood-affected communities were in Anne
Arundel, Prince George’s, and Howard counties. Amateur Radio volunteers in the MDC
Section provided additional situational awareness, and Pittinger
interfaced with Atlantic Division leadership, Maryland Section Emergency Coordinator
Jim Montgomery, WB3KAS, and state and local authorities.

“Many county [emergency operations centers] in affected areas were also
activated. Anne Arundel County ARES and Howard County ARES were in
communication with their local Emergency Management Agencies and were both told to
stand by in case of need,” Reid said. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan
declared a state of emergency.

Conventional
telecommunications continued to function throughout the heavy weather, which caused road
closures and power and natural gas outages. The MDC ARES volunteers remained
on duty until 10:15 PM on May 28. During the activation, radio amateurs made
use of VHF, UHF, and HF capabilities, as well as Voice over Internet
Protocol (VoIP) modes.

Florida

West Central Florida (WCF) Section ARES went to a
Level 3 activation (standby) on May 26 after tropical storm warnings went up
for the coastal areas of WCF Section counties and for all of Pinellas
County. “We will continue at the Level 3 activation until the Tropical Storm
warnings are discontinued for all WCF Section counties,” ARRL West Central
Florida Section Manager Darrell Davis, KT4WX, told ARRL at the time.

Alberto shifted away from that part of the Florida coast and came
ashore on the Florida Panhandle, moving inland and dissipating, but still
causing serious rainfall and some flooding.

MARS Urging Members to Use Computers that are Isolated from
the Internet

US Army Military Auxiliary Radio
System (MARS)
headquarters is recommending that MARS members “migrate to standalone computer
systems for [MARS] radio operations,” subject to the availability of a dedicated
computer.

“These computer systems (or their associated
local area networks) should be ‘air-gapped’ from the internet,” Army MARS
Headquarters Operations Officer David McGinnis, K7UXO, said in a message to
members. “Although not a requirement for membership at this time, we will
continue make this a condition of certain parts of our exercises.”

McGinnis pointed to remarks by Cisco researchers in a
recent Ars Technica article that discussed how
hackers “possibly working for an advanced nation” have infected more than a
half-million home and small-office computers “with malware that can be used to
collect communications, launch attacks on others, and permanently destroy
the devices with a single command.”

McGinnis told Army
MARS members that MARS Headquarters does not discuss specific cyber threats
with MARS members or with the public. “We also cannot confirm or deny
information about specific threats,” he said, adding that he had “no specific
knowledge” about VPN Filter malware and no comment on the Cisco
report.

For communication exercises this year, MARS
established conditions for a certain portion of the drill that requires use of
standalone computer systems “normally not connected to the internet.” He said
used or refurbished PCs are widely available at low cost and could be
dedicated to serve a standalone function.

“The most effective
way to protect against threats that come from the internet is to isolate
from the internet,” McGinnis added.

“Despite a
standalone environment, we assume that all computer systems in private citizens’
hands are infected with hostile software code of some sort and are not
secured,” he said. “No amount of virus and malware scanning software changes that
assumption. We can, however, isolate computers by disconnecting them from
the international network in which hostile software will report and receive
instruction.”

McGinnis said future versions of MARS
software will check for an internet connection and will disable the software.
“We understand this lockout does not provide security in and of itself;
rather, its value is in changing the behavior of members,” he explained.

MARS Program Manager Paul English, WD8DBY, told ARRL that
the MARS goal is to isolate MARS members’ computers from the internet as much
as possible and that isolating members’ computers used for MARS-related
activity is “a goal, but has not been directed.”

The Doctor Will See You Now!

“Coping with Poor HF Conditions” is the topic of the current (May
24) episode of the “ARRL The Doctor is In” podcast. Listen…and learn!

Sponsored by DX Engineering, “ARRL The Doctor is
In” is an informative discussion of all things technical. Listen on your
computer, tablet, or smartphone — whenever and wherever you like!

Every 2 weeks, your host, QST Editor-in-Chief Steve Ford,
WB8IMY, and the Doctor himself, Joel Hallas, W1ZR, will discuss a broad range
of technical topics. You can also e-mail your questions to doctor@arrl.org, and the Doctor
may answer them in a future podcast.

Enjoy “ARRL The
Doctor is In” on Apple iTunes, or by
using your iPhone or iPad podcast app (just search for “ARRL The Doctor is
In”). You can also listen online at Blubrry, or at Stitcher (free registration required,
or browse the site as a guest) and through the free Stitcher app for iOS,
Kindle, or Android devices. If you’ve never listened to a podcast before,
download our beginner’s guide.

Just ahead: “Field Day Antennas.”

Eagles Guitarist Joe Walsh,
WB6ACU, Promotes Amateur Radio in Media Announcements

Legendary rock guitarist Joe Walsh, WB6ACU, of the Eagles is featured in a
just-released set of ARRL audio and video public service
announcements promoting Amateur Radio. ARRL will provide the 30- and 60-second PSAs to
Public Information Officers (PIOs) to share with their Section’s
television and radio stations. The ARRL Media and Public Relations Department also
will provide these announcements files directly to interested television and
radio outlets, and the announcements are available for downloading from
the ARRL website for members to use in promoting Amateur Radio at club
meetings and public presentations, such as ARRL Field Day on June 23-24 (PSAs specifically
for ARRL Field Day also are available). Those PSAs will also be available
for download from the ARRL website, so that members can present them at club
meetings and other public gatherings.

Walsh, who visited ARRL Headquarters last year for taping, wanted to deliver
two main messages in his PSAs: Get involved in Amateur Radio, and become a
member of ARRL. The messages highlight the tremendous service that radio
amateurs provide to communities, and convey how ARRL advocates on behalf of
Amateur Radio on a wide range of legal and political issues.

An ARRL Life Member and longtime radio amateur, Walsh personally has
been a strong supporter and advocate of ARRL and Amateur Radio, and his ham
shack is just as impressive as his home recording studio. “I want to give
back to the hobby that has given me so much enjoyment,” he said.

The setting for the PSAs was W1AW, which Walsh was especially
eager to revisit. The occasion also offered him an opportunity to see equipment
he’d donated to W1AW years earlier. Walsh’s past on-the-air forays on W1AW
have always attracted enthusiastic pileups. While at W1AW, he spent some
chatting with station manager Joe Carcia, NJ1Q, about the station’s
operations. Walsh is a well-known collector of vintage Amateur Radio equipment.

Creating the videos were Media and Public Relations
Assistant Michelle Patnode, KC1JTA; freelance videographer/photographer Chris
Zajac, and former Media and Public Relations Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X, who
also recorded a tag line for ARRL Audio News with Walsh.

Tips
for getting audio PSAs on the air are available on the PSA for
promotions web page.

IARU Region 1 Editorial Warns of the Danger of VHF/UHF/Microwave Spectrum
Grabs

The chair of the International Amateur Radio
Union Region 1 (IARU
R1) VHF-UHF-µW Committee, Jacques Verleijen, ON4AVJ, has
highlighted extant threats to the Amateur Radio spectrum above 30 MHz. In an
editorial that heads the latest edition of the IARU R1 VHF-UHF-µW
Newsletter, issued on May 29, Verleijen invited all IARU
member-societies to consider ways to “promote, defend, and use our frequencies.”

“They are wanted by others, both government and
commercial users,” Verleijen wrote. “So, this is a wake-up call to be aware that if
we are not using those bands, we will lose them.” If that happens, he
continued, it won’t be the fault of IARU R1, but of the amateur community that
“often [has] more commitment to HF” than to VHF and higher bands. Conceding
that the HF bands “are the easiest to use,” Verleijen said member-societies
should think outside the box to come up with ideas to improve VHF, UHF,
and microwave activity.

Verleijen said the vast amount of
Amateur Radio spectrum from 50 MHz through 5 GHz makes it an attractive
target for commercial and governmental interests. He noted that 50 MHz is the
focus of a key World Radiocommunication Conference 2019 (WRC-19) agenda item — specifically, to harmonize the 6-meter
allocation across all three ITU Regions.

“It would be
unfortunate to see a repeat of the WRC-15 result for 5 MHz, where high hopes
and years of hard work actually resulted in a few kilohertz at 15 W [EIRP]
max,” Verleijen continued. A repeat of that situation on 6 meters could mean
a “far more devastating” loss of existing spectrum and future
opportunities for digital innovation.

The 2.3 GHz and 3.4 GHz bands
are highly sought after for commercial wireless, Verleijen said, pointing
out that the UK recently auctioned large segments of 2.3 and 3.4 GHz
spectrum once available to Amateur Radio, “threatening significant activities
from narrowband/Earth-Moon-Earth to DATV (digital amateur TV).”

Two WRC-19 agenda items affect 5 GHz, focusing on Wi-Fi and so-called
“intelligent transport.” Amateur Radio, as a secondary service, faces
another difficult challenge in this part of the spectrum and has “little
influence over its direction,” Verleijen contended. In IARU Region 1, the primary
concern is the expansion of Wi-Fi into 5,725 – 5,850 MHz.

“[O]ur preoccupation with traditional or [narrowband] modes does not
justify the amount of spectrum,” he said, noting that “some activity levels
are quite low” outside of contests.

“Ideally, we need
genuine open innovation and to show amateurs leading in the 21st century,”
Verleijen said. “Pressures on amateur bands are nothing new, but we know that
the spectrum pressures above are not helped by poor engagement,
relationships, or lack of a united approach” in some member-societies, with respect
to their administrations.

Reception Reports Requested as Amateur Radio Heads to the Moon

China launched two microsatellites into a lunar transfer orbit on
May 20 in conjunction with the Chang’e 4 mission to the far side of the
moon. The Longjiang-1 (LJ-1) and Longjiang-2 (LJ-2) microsats
were secondary payloads on the launch, piggybacking on the Queqiao
relay satellite. Also known as DSLWP-A1 and DSLWP-A2, the satellites were
maneuvered onto a track to the moon, but LJ-1 then appeared to have
encountered problems, and Harbin Institute of Technology, which developed the
satellites, was asking for help from the world Amateur Satellite community.

The May 20 launch of LJ-1 and LJ-2,
which piggy-backed on the Queqiao relay satellite.

“We lost contact with Satellite A on S band
after an orbit adjustment,” Wei Mingchuan, BG2BHC, of Harbin Institute of
Technology said. “We just tried to switch on UHF, but we don’t know if it works
or not.” He said on 435.425 MHz, the satellite should alternate between 500
bps GMSK and JT4, while the 436.425 MHz signal should be 250 bps GMSK.
Both transmit once every 5 minutes.

LJ-1 and LJ-2 also
will test low-frequency radio astronomy and space-based interferometry. The
astronomy objectives of the two spacecraft are to observe the sky at the
lower end of the electromagnetic spectrum — 1 MHz to 30 MHz — with the aim of
learning about energetic phenomena from galactic sources, using the moon
to shield them from earthbound radio signals. The Chang’e 4 mission will
mark the first-ever attempt at a soft landing on the far side of the
moon.

Artist’s rendering of the DSLWP spacecraft.

Signals from the DSLWP satellites were
received after launch by radio amateurs in Brazil, Chile, and the US, as
well as by many others around the world. Each satellite carries VHF/UHF SDR
transceivers for beacon, telemetry, telecommand, and digital image downlink.
Onboard transmitting power is about 2 W.

The
Queqiao communications relay satellite is required for the lunar far-side
landing to facilitate communication with a not-yet-launched lander and rover,
because the moon’s far side never faces Earth, and some significant
scientific measurements from the dark side of the moon require real-time contact
with Earth. Queqiao was developed by the China Academy of Space
Technology (CAST).

Ambitious Arizona STEM Planetary Rover Project is a Winner

An Amateur Radio-based science, technology, engineering, and
mathematics (STEM) initiative at an Arizona elementary school culminated on May
22, as youngsters competitively deployed their own radio-controlled rovers to
explore a simulated planet set up in the Sonoran Desert. Following in the
footsteps of NASA scientists, 25 pupils at Bouse Elementary School

The ARRL Letter for May 24, 2018

Preview

If you are
having trouble reading this message, you can see the original at:https://ift.tt/2s6kNHb

May 24, 2018
Editor: Rick Lindquist, WW1ME

ARRL Home
Page

ARRL Letter Archive

Audio News

 

ARRL White Paper Provides Context for Recommended
Governance Changes

Xenia Enjoys a Second, More Successful Year Playing
Host to “Dayton”

ARRL Renews Memorandum of Understanding
with SATERN, Promotes Partnerships at Forum

The Doctor Will See You Now!

New Section Managers Elected in Five ARRL
Sections

Amateur Radio Transponders on Planned Chinese
Satellites to Include HF

Solar Eclipse QSO Party Research Results Published
in Geophysical Research Letters

ARRL Business Services Manager Debra Jahnke, K1DAJ,
SK

In Brief…

The K7RA Solar Update

Just Ahead in Radiosport

Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division
Conventions

ARRL White Paper
Provides Context for Recommended Governance Changes

ARRL has released a white paper that provides some context to explain
proposed alterations to the Articles Of Association and By-Laws that
the Executive Committee (EC) of the Board of Directors recommended for
full Board passage at its April 21 meeting. Study continues of the so-called
“Code of Conduct” for Board members, known officially as the ARRL Policy on Board Governance and Conduct of Members of the
Board of Directors and Vice Directors, with changes to be recommended
for later Board consideration.

At its January meeting, the Board
pledged to provide the membership with the rationale and purpose behind
proposed changes to the Articles and By-Laws that it had
adopted last July. In April, the EC recommended minor revisions to two new
amendments to ARRL’s Articles of Association and one change to its
By-Laws for Board approval at its July 2018 meeting. In all, four changes
are being proposed.

Articles of Association and By-Laws

One proposed change involves the wording of the
Articles that address indemnification and personal liability of ARRL Directors,
Vice Directors, and officers. Although the Board had adopted new Articles 15
and 16 at its July 2017 meeting, ARRL’s Connecticut counsel recommended two revisions,
requiring Board approval, to make the wording of those changed sections
consistent with Connecticut state statutes.

Article 15
addresses personal liability of Directors, Vice Directors, and volunteer and
staff officers for damages due to a breach of duty in their respective roles,
provided the breach did not involve a “knowing and culpable” violation of
law, improper personal economic gain, a lack of good faith, and conscious
disregard or sustained and unexcused pattern of inattention amounting to
abdication of duty.

Article 16 would provide
indemnification of Directors, Vice Directors, and volunteer and staff officers for any
monetary judgement based on any actions taken or any failure to take action,
except under the circumstances listed in Article 15.

A
change to the wording of Article 1 would add “ARRL, the national
association for Amateur Radio” as an informal name for the organization, in addition
to “American Radio Relay League, Inc.” This adds the informal name of the
organization to the formal name spelled out in Article 1 to indicate that
either rendering is a proper description of the organization.

A clarification of the Directors/Vice Directors election cycle spelled
out in By-Law 23 also was required. This involved only a wording change to
include the correct years involved.

The minutes of the April 21
ARRL Executive Committee meeting include the specific wording of the
proposed changes.

“Code of Conduct”

The Board made two
specific edits to the “Code of Conduct” at its January meeting and directed
the EC to review the remaining provisions with the intention of presenting
those to the full Board. The EC began this process at its April meeting,
considering a simplified version of a document recommended by the National
Council of Nonprofits but realized it would take longer than anticipated to
complete this review and present its findings to the Board and the
membership. The EC expects to have a discussion and a proposal for the Board’s
consideration later this year.

Xenia Enjoys a Second, More Successful Year Playing Host to “Dayton”

Hamvention® 2018 returned to the Greene
County Fairgrounds and Expo Center in Xenia, Ohio, for a second year, earning
high marks for attendance, the debut of many new Amateur Radio
transceivers, and tasty food.

“Other than the rain showers
Friday and Saturday, the event seemed to go very smoothly,” said QST
Editor Steve Ford, WB8IMY, who has been on hand for many past Hamventions.
“Many attendees, great food, and a spacious layout that made it easy to
get around. It is a much better venue than Hara,” he added. Others who
commented on the Hamvention Facebook page agreed, although some complained
that the flea market area was too small, still muddy, and not as well
attended as in past years, when the flea market was Dayton Hamvention.
Many credited the Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA) for putting on a great show while still
addressing needed improvements.

Ford said the rain, which
included a Saturday thundershower, did not deter the crowds, although
indoor exhibit areas were packed at times, reminiscent of the steamy traffic
jams of the past at Hara Arena during wet weather.

Alain De Carolis, K1FM, didn’t
let Hamvention curtail his ham radio activity. [Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R,
photo]

ARRL EXPO, the
focus of ARRL’s Hamvention presence, saw considerable traffic, and visitors
kept those tending the ARRL Store quite busy. Ford said attendees seemed to
appreciate the ARRL Stage, where talks on various topics were presented
throughout the show. ARRL Marketing Manager Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R, said the ARRL
team included nearly 100 people — from Field Organization volunteers,
Section Managers, Officers, Directors, Vice Directors, partners, served agency
representatives, ARRL staff, and members who helped out.

Ford postulated that Hamvention 2018 may have witnessed a record number
of new Amateur Radio products. New transceivers included Icom’s IC-7610,
Kenwood’s TS-890S, Yaesu’s FTDX-101D, and FlexRadio’s FLEX-6400M and
FLEX-6600M. CommRadio introduced its CTX-10, a compact SDR-based QRP transceiver.
Other new products ranged from CW keys, to digital mode interfaces, to audio
processors and amplifiers. The August issue of QST will provide a
roundup.

Hamvention 2018 Amateur of the Year Valerie
Hotzfeld, NV9L, ARRL and American Red Cross volunteer, receives her award from
Hamvention Awards Committee member Frank Beafore, WS8B.

Showers persisted into Saturday.
“Hamvention’s attempts to mitigate last year’s mud issues in the flea market area
seemed to help, although the relentless rain proved to be a challenge,” Ford
observed. “As a result, the indoor exhibits appeared to receive the lion’s
share of the traffic.”

Perhaps as a result of the wet
weather, Hamvention forums proved popular. For example, a nearly
standing-room-only crowd to the RTTY Contesting forum heard ARRL Southwestern
Division Vice Director Ned Stearns, AA7A, discuss FT8 as a possible replacement
for RTTY in contest applications. Stearns has been involved in proving out
FT8 DXpedition Mode. The ARRL membership forum also drew a substantial crowd.
After comments by President Rick Roderick, K5UR, Great Lakes Division
Director Dale Williams, WA8EFK, addressed potential changes to the Amateur
Radio Emergency Service® (ARES) program.

At
Hamvention, ARRL Section Managers Oscar Resto, KP4RF (right) and Fred Kleber,
K9VV, accepted the 2017 ARRL International Humanitarian Award on behalf of
the radio amateurs of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

The skies cleared on Sunday, and
bargain hunters flocked to the Fairgrounds. A number of exhibitors commented
that it was the largest Hamvention Sunday attendance they’d seen in a long
time.

Young attendees seemed to be in greater evidence
this year, including teams of students interested in combining Amateur
Radio with robotics. For example, the First Robotics competition teams were
on hand to demonstrate their creations.

The Yasme
Foundation-sponsored “Ham Radio 2.0 — Innovation and Discovery” area was a big
hit, Yasme Foundation President Ward Silver, N0AX, said. “Subjects ranged
from high-bandwidth satellite designs to Summits on the Air (SOTA), HamSCI’s 2017 Solar Eclipse QSO
Party (SEQP) research, and QSLs.” Silver said the goal was to help diverse
groups meet and interact. Researcher Nathaniel Frissell, W2NAF, who
staffed the HamSCI booth, reported “a tremendous response.”

Florian
Zwingl, OE3FTA (left), and Koos Fick, ZR6KF, represented YOTA. [Ward Silver,
N0AX, photo]

Florian
Zwingl, OE3FTA, of Austria, and Koos Fick, ZR6KF, of South Africa represented
the IARU Region 1 group Youngsters on the Air (YOTA), promoting YOTA in IARU Region 2 (the
Americas). The YOTA “Summer Camp” will be held in August in South
Africa — when it’s winter in the Southern Hemisphere.

“The
weather notwithstanding, the mood was clearly upbeat. The open layout of
the Xenia Fairgrounds drew compliments as attendees found it much easier to
navigate than Hara Arena,” Ford said. “The Dayton Amateur Radio Association
also received kudos for their smooth management of the event. The food
vendors drew rave reviews with delights ranging from standard carnival fare to
ethnic cuisine.”

ARRL Renews Memorandum of Understanding with SATERN, Promotes
Partnerships at Forum

On May 18 at Hamvention, ARRL and
The Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN) renewed the Memorandum of
Understanding (MoU) between the two organizations that spells out how
they will work together in disaster and emergency responses. ARRL President
Rick Roderick, K5UR, signed the MoU on behalf of ARRL on Hamvention’s
opening day. SATERN National Liaison Bill Feist, WB8BZH, represented
SATERN at the signing and delivered a copy of the MoU already signed by
The Salvation Army. ARRL Emergency Preparedness Manager Mike Corey, KI1U,
said ARRL and SATERN have enjoyed a formal working relationship since 1976,
and the MoU was up for renewal.

(L – R) SATERN National Liaison Bill Feist, WB8BZH; ARRL President Rick
Roderick, K5UR, and ARRL Emergency Preparedness Manager Mike Corey, KI1U.
[Michelle Patnode, KC1JTA, photo]

“We spent the last year fine-tuning, updating, [and] revising it,”
Corey said. “SATERN is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, so it
was a double celebration for them.”

The MoU
“defines the partnership” between ARRL and SATERN and The Salvation Army, in
which ARRL and SATERN agree to work together toward common goals, particularly
in disaster response, Corey said, adding that the MoU opens the possibility
for sharing resources.

Corey said ARRL and SATERN also
have agreed to coordinate their disaster response activities, to eliminate
duplication of effort.

“We had an effective and
coordinated Amateur Radio response in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands last
fall,” Corey said.

SATERN meets regularly on 14.265 MHz
SSB, and is activated for extended periods during disaster and emergency
responses.

Cooperation was the focus of an ARRL
Hamvention forum, “Building Partnerships,” attended by more than 100 people.
Leading the discussion were Corey and FEMA Community Partnership Specialist Sarah
Byrne, who outlined the four “Cs” of partnerships: Collaboration,
Communication, Cooperation, and Coordination.

The “Building Partnerships” forum at Hamvention:
ARRL Emergency Preparedness Manager Mike Corey, KI1U (with microphone), and
FEMA’s Sarah Byrne shared duties as moderators and presenters. [Dave Isgur,
N1RSN, photo]

Corey
reminded those attending the forum that partnerships are only as good as the
people participating in them. “It can often come down to one person, and
how they interact with the group,” he said.

To illustrate
their points, Corey and Byrne called up three volunteers from the audience
and gave each a scenario that required a partnership to achieve. The
volunteers then picked three more volunteers as partners. After a few minutes of
intense discussions, the new “partners” outlined what resources they had
determined were available to them and the partnership’s next steps to
achieve its objectives.

“Successful partnerships don’t always
mean that everything went right,” Corey reminded the audience. “In fact,
it’s learning from the things that didn’t work out as planned that
strengthens and deepens a relationship between partners.” — Thanks to
ARRL Communication Manager Dave Isgur, N1RSN, and QST Editor Steve
Ford, WB8IMY

The Doctor Will
See You Now!

“Coping with Poor HF Conditions” is
the topic of the new (May 24) episode of the “ARRL The Doctor is In” podcast.
Listen…and learn!

Sponsored by
DX
Engineering, “ARRL The Doctor is In” is an informative discussion of all things
technical. Listen on your computer, tablet, or smartphone — whenever and
wherever you like!

Every 2 weeks, your host, QST
Editor-in-Chief Steve Ford, WB8IMY, and the Doctor himself, Joel Hallas, W1ZR,
will discuss a broad range of technical topics. You can also email your
questions to doctor@arrl.org, and the Doctor may answer them in a future podcast.

Enjoy “ARRL The Doctor is In” on Apple iTunes, or by using your iPhone or iPad podcast app (just search for
“ARRL The Doctor is In”). You can also listen online at Blubrry, or
at Stitcher
(free registration required, or browse the site as a guest) and through the
free Stitcher app for iOS, Kindle, or Android devices. If you’ve never
listened to a podcast before, download our beginner’s guide.

New Section Managers Elected in Five ARRL
Sections

Five new ARRL Section Managers have been declared
elected to begin their first terms of office on July 1. Section Manager
(SM) election ballots were counted in the Indiana and Northern Florida
Sections on May 22 at ARRL Headquarters. Other candidates faced no opposition
during the spring election cycle.

In Indiana, James
“Jimmy” Merry, KC9RPX, was declared elected in a very close race with Brian
G. Jenks, W9BGJ, the Indiana Section Traffic Manager. Merry received 451
votes, and Jenks received 438 votes.

Merry has been the
Affiliated Club Coordinator in Indiana since 2005, and is presently serving
a fifth term as president of the Bloomington Amateur Radio Club. Incumbent
Indiana SM Brent Walls, N9BA, decided not to run for another term after
helming the Indiana Field Organization since July 2016.

In
Northern Florida, Kevin Bess, KK4BFN, outpolled Scott Roberts, KK4ECR, 564
to 447, to succeed current SM Steve Szabo, WB4OMM. Bess is a Northern
Florida Assistant Section Manager, and a member of the Daytona Beach CERT
Amateur Radio Team and of the Florida Contest Group. Szabo opted not to run for
a third term of office after serving since July 2014.

Oregon also will get a new Section Manager this summer. David Kidd, KA7OZO,
was the sole candidate for the post. He has been an Emergency Coordinator
and Assistant Section Emergency Coordinator. Kidd will take the reins of the
Oregon Section from John Core, KX7YT, who did not run for a new term after
serving for the past 2 years.

In the East Bay Section,
Jim Siemons, W6LK, will begin an 18-month term as SM on July 1. Because no
candidates were nominated by the September 8, 2017, deadline, nominations
were resolicited. Siemons was the only nominee to succeed incumbent SM Jim
Latham, AF6AQ, who has served as East Bay Section Manager since 2008 and
did not run for a new term.

In New Mexico, Bill Mader,
K8TE, will become the new SM in July. He, too, was the only candidate after
nominations had to be resolicited, and he will serve an 18-month term. He
follows incumbent SM Ed James, KA8JMW, who did not run again after serving
since 2015.

Several incumbent Section Managers were
unopposed for new 2-year terms starting on July 1. They are Ron Morgan, AD9I
(Illinois); Bill Crowley, K1NIT (Maine); Jim Kvochick, K8JK (Michigan); Paul
Gayet, AA1SU (Vermont), and Patrick Moretti, KA1RB (Wisconsin).

Amateur Radio Transponders on Planned
Chinese Satellites to Include HF

China’s Amateur
Radio Satellite organization, CAMSAT, has released some details of three new
Amateur Radio satellites that could be launched as early as September. Two
of the satellites, CAS-5A and CAS-6, will carry transponders; one will have
HF capability.

CAS-5A, a 6U CubeSat, will have an HF/HF
(21/29 MHz) mode linear transponder; an HF/UHF (21/435 MHz) mode linear
transponder; an HF CW telemetry beacon; VHF/UHF mode linear transponder; a
VHF/UHF mode FM transponder; a UHF CW telemetry beacon, and UHF AX.25
4,800/9,600-baud GMSK Telemetry. Transponders will have 30 kHz passbands, except for
the H/U unit, which will be 15 kHz.

The tiny CAS-5B,
weighing 1/2 kilogram, will be deployed from CAS-5A in orbit. It will carry
a UHF CW beacon on an Amateur Radio frequency. It will be placed into a 539
× 533 kilometer, 97.5° orbit.

CAS-6, a
50-kilogram microsat, will include a VHF CW telemetry beacon; a U/V mode 20 kHz
linear transponder, and AX.25 4,800-baud GMSK telemetry downlink. It will
also carry an atmospheric wind detector and other systems that will operate
on non-amateur frequencies.

A launch at sea is planned
for CAS-6, which will be placed into a 579 × 579 kilometer, 45°
orbit.

CAMSAT has applied to the IARU to coordinate frequencies for all three
spacecraft. — Thanks to AMSAT News Service via AMSAT-UK

Solar Eclipse QSO
Party Research Results Published in Geophysical Research Letters

The first science results from the Solar Eclipse QSO Party
(SEQP) last August
21 have been published in the American Geophysical Union journal Geophysical
Research Letters. In the paper, “Modeling Amateur Radio Soundings of
the Ionospheric Response to the 2017 Great American Eclipse,” New Jersey
Institute of Technology (NJIT) researcher Nathaniel Frissell, W2NAF, and team
present Reverse Beacon Network (RBN) observations of the SEQP and compare them
with ray tracings through an eclipsed version of the physics-based ionospheric
model SAMI3. HamSCI, the Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation organization, sponsored the
event.

“From a ham radio perspective, this paper
very clearly shows the effect of the eclipse on not just a few, but a very
large number of contacts,” Frissell told ARRL. “You can see from the charts
that activity drops off steeply on 20 meters during eclipse totality, while
80 and 160 meters open up. On 40 meters, you can see how the contact
distance increases in step with the eclipse.”

Frissell said
another key aspect of the paper is that the researchers were able to use
ray tracing to compare the observations to a physics-based numerical model of
the eclipsed ionosphere.

On 20 meters, eclipse effects
were observed as a drop off in communications for an hour before and after
eclipse maximum. On 40 meters, typical path lengths extended from about
500 kilometers (310 miles) to 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) for 45 minutes
before and after eclipse maximum. On 160 meters and 80 meters, eclipse effects
were observed as band openings 20 to 45 minutes around eclipse maximum.
Read more. — Thanks to Nathaniel Frissell, W2NAF

ARRL Business Services Manager Debra Jahnke, K1DAJ,
SK

ARRL Business Services Manager Deb Jahnke, K1DAJ,
of Colchester, Connecticut, died on May 17 after a lengthy illness. She was
66 and had been on the ARRL Headquarters staff for nearly 40 years,
starting as a file clerk. She went on to serve as Deputy Circulation Manager,
Circulation Manager, Publication Sales and Warehouse Manager, and Business
Services Manager (including Advertising). She met her husband of 31 years, ARRL
Contest Branch Manager Bart Jahnke, W9JJ, at Headquarters.

“This is a tremendous loss for ARRL,” said ARRL CEO Barry Shelley,
N1VXY. “Those of us who knew Deb will miss her remarkable spirit and direct
approach to both the work of the ARRL and life. Deb loved the outdoors,
including sharing time with family in her flower garden, and with their dogs and
her rescue horses.”

For many years, she was a fixture at
Hamvention® and at other major Amateur Radio shows,
organizing and overseeing the operation of ARRL’s exhibit and store.

The family has requested that contributions be made in Debra
Jahnke’s name to the American Cancer Society, the Shriners
Hospitals for Children, or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Friends may leave
remembrances on the Belmont Funeral Home site. Read more.

In
Brief…

Princess
Elettra Marconi has been invited to take part in a May 31 ham radio contact with
Newfoundland during a visit to Cape Cod National Seashore. The contact
will be between KM1CC on the Cape and VO1AA at the Society of Newfoundland
Radio Amateurs (SONRA) club in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Chris Hillier, VO1IDX, will
serve as net control, KM1CC Trustee Barbara Dougan, N1NS, told ARRL. “Someone
from KM1CC will stay on the air with VO1AA, should the Princess need to
depart, then after, KM1CC can take calls from others [wanting] to contact KM1CC
in grid FN51.” The plan is to use 14.224 MHz SSB on or around 1645 – 1700
UTC. It was at St. John’s in 1901 that Guglielmo Marconi, using a
kite-supported antenna, received the letter “S” from his station in Poldhu,
Cornwall. — Thanks to KM1CC Trustee Barbara Dougan, N1NS

The “Scouts BSA” program change is expected to enhance ham radio
opportunities for young women. Boy Scouts of America’s Radio Scouting
Coordinator Jim Wilson, K5ND, says that, although the program name for ages 11 to
17 will change to “Scouts BSA” and begin admitting girls starting on
February 1, 2019, the organization’s name remains the same. “Perhaps the big
difference is that girls will now be eligible to earn the Radio Merit Badge as
part of their Scouting program,” Wilson told ARRL. “Girls are already a
part of Venturing, a coed program for ages 14 to 20.” He pointed out that
Venture Scouts of both sexes have always been able to earn the Amateur Radio
Operator Rating Strip and the Morse Code Interpreter Strip. “Girl Scouts have always
been welcome to participate [in JOTA],” Wilson added. “Now, they’ll be
participating in not only Girl Scouts, but also in Cub Scouts and Scouts BSA.”
Wilson noted that Scouting organizations in most other countries have had
female members for quite a while now.

The K7RA Solar Update

Tad Cook,
K7RA, Seattle, reports: Sunspot activity resumed this week, after no
sunspots for 7 consecutive days. The average daily sunspot number of 7.7 was up
from 6.4 in the previous reporting week. The average daily solar flux was
70.1; little changed from last week’s 70.2.

The average
daily planetary A index was 5.4, down from 8.4 the previous week, but the
really interesting and seemingly anomalous number was a May 22
mid-latitude A index of 55, up from 3 on the previous day. This drove the
average mid-latitude A index for the week to 12.3 from 9 in the previous week.
The Fredericksburg K index on May 22 briefly reached 9, the maximum
possible value. If this were to continue for a full day (perhaps during a
Carrington event?) the A index for that day would be 400, thankfully an unheard of
and disastrous number.

Predicted solar flux is 74 on
May 24; 75 on May 25-27; 74 on May 28; 72 on May 29-30; 70 on May 31-June 6;
68 on June 7-16; 69 on June 17-20; 70 on June 21-July 3, and 68 on July
4-7.

Predicted planetary A index is 10 and 8 on May
24-25; 5 on May 26-31; 18, 28, 16, 16, 14, 12, and 8 on June 1-7; 5 on June
8-12; 8 on June 13; 5 on June 14-18; 16, 12, and 8 on June 19-21; 5 on June
22-27; 16, 26, 16, 14, 12, 12, and 8 on June 28-July 4, and 5 on July 5-7.

Sunspot numbers for May 17-23 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 12, 12, and
30, with a mean of 7.7. The 10.7-centimeter flux was 69, 69.4, 70.3, 68.8,
69.6, 70.8, and 73.1, with a mean of 70.1. Estimated planetary A indices
were 10, 4, 3, 3, 3, 6, and 9, with a mean of 5.4. Estimated mid-latitude A
indices were 9, 3, 3, 3, 3, 55, and 10, with a mean of 12.3.

Send me your
reports and observations.

Just Ahead in Radiosport

May 26-27

The ARRL Letter for May 17, 2018

Preview

If you are
having trouble reading this message, you can see the original at:https://ift.tt/2rPiVl7

May 17, 2018
Editor: Rick Lindquist, WW1ME

ARRL Home
Page

ARRL Letter Archive

Audio News

 

Amateur Radio Parity Act Language Inserted in National
Defense Authorization Act

FT8 Activity Bumping Up at Some Expense to Other
Modes

Hamvention®
to Use AM Information Radio Station to Communicate with Inbound
Traffic

The Doctor Will See You Now!

ARRL to Show Off Ham Radio at EAA AirVenture
Oshkosh 2018

Space Station Digital Amateur Television Signal Not
Being Seen on the Ground

Informal Amateur Radio Nets Being Maintained in
Wake of Volcanic Eruptions in Hawaii

National Hurricane Center’s WX4NHC will be On the
Air for Annual Station Test

Maritime Radio Historical Society’s Museum Station
K6KPH is Back

In Brief…

The K7RA Solar Update

Just Ahead in Radiosport

Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division
Conventions

Amateur Radio Parity
Act Language Inserted in National Defense Authorization Act

ARRL has
praised the work of US Representatives Joe Courtney (D-CT/2), Vicky
Hartzler (R-MO/4), and Mike Rogers (R-AL/3) for their successful efforts in
securing language in the FY 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that
asks the FCC to grant radio amateurs living in restricted communities the
right to install effective outdoor antennas. Text from the proposed Amateur Radio Parity Act (HR 555) formed the basis for the
Courtney-Hartzler-Rogers Amendment to the NDAA.

“The bill does entitle
each and every Amateur Radio operator living in a deed-restricted community to
erect an effective outdoor antenna. Full stop. That is the principal
benefit of this legislation,” ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, stressed.
“There are tens of thousands of ham radio licensees who now, absent the
legislation, cannot erect any outdoor antenna at all. This enables them in the
same way PRB-1 has enabled hams to address unreasonably restrictive zoning
ordinances during the past 33 years.”

Imlay pointed
out, though, that certain conditions apply. Prior to erecting an antenna in a
deed-restricted community, an applicant for an outdoor antenna may have to
apply to the homeowners association (HOA) for prior approval of the
particular antenna system proposed by the ham. The Act would not empower
an HOA to deny approval of all outdoor antennas. But neither does it entitle
radio amateurs residing in deed-restricted subdivisions to erect whatever
antennas they want.

“This legislation is a good, solid
balance that favors hams and, as I say, allows tens of thousands of hams to
erect effective antennas that they have no right to erect now,” Imlay
said.

The amendment, offered by the bipartisan trio and
accepted by the House Armed Services Committee by voice vote, will ensure that
Amateur Radio operators will continue to play a vital role in supporting
communications in a disaster or emergency. Amateur Radio has long-standing
relationships with the Department of Defense through the Military Auxiliary
Radio Service (MARS) and spectrum sharing.

The Armed Services Committee passed the NDAA by a 60-to-1 voice vote after
a 14-hour markup that ran well into the night. The bill now awaits House
floor action. The Senate will begin its markup of the NDAA during the week
of May 21.

Representatives Courtney and Adam Kinzinger
(R-IL/16) spearheaded the effort to include the Parity Act language in the
NDAA. Both are cosponsors of the Parity Act, which has passed the House by
voice vote twice in the past 2 years.

Recognizing the
long-standing relationship between Amateur Radio and the Department of
Defense, Congressman Kinzinger — who served multiple tours for the USAF as a
fighter pilot and is still a Major in the Air National Guard — and Courtney
have been champions of the legislation in Congress.

“The
steadfast support of the Amateur Radio community continually demonstrated
by Congressmen Kinzinger and Courtney has been a godsend,” said Hudson
Director Mike Lisenco, N2YBB. “The Parity Act wouldn’t be anywhere close to
this stage without their strong support, and our organization is extremely
grateful.”

ARRL has pledged to continue pressing for support to enact the
Amateur Radio Parity Act throughout the legislative process. Read more.

FT8 Activity Bumping Up at Some Expense to
Other Modes

Despite largely dismal HF conditions,
there is no doubt that the recent FT8 digital protocol has hams on the air.
The mode has caught on so quickly that co-developer Joe Taylor expressed
surprise last fall at the rapid uptake of FT8 for making contacts on HF
bands. Judging by Logbook of The World (LoTW) data, more than 2.3 million FT8
contacts were uploaded in 1 month — a net gain of 1.2 million contacts on
all modes over the same month last year, ARRL Radiosport Manager Norm
Fusaro, W3IZ, said. Over the same period, activity in some of the other modes has
declined.

“Year-to-date DXCC applications are up
by 11% over the same period last year,” Fusaro said. “So far, we have
processed 898 Worked All States (WAS) applications — a 72% increase over the
same period last year. Of those applications, 347 — or 39% — were FT8
endorsements. Application for VUCC are also up by 33% over 2017.”

Fusaro said that while some feel that FT8 is “taking over the world,”
subsuming all other modes, that’s not the case. “Activity in the
traditional modes of SSB and CW has decreased only slightly, by 10%,” he said. “The
real decrease is in RTTY and PSK activity and in the other
WSJT-X modes. I believe poor propagation would have cut into SSB and CW
activity, regardless of the new mode.” Anecdotal reports support Fusaro’s hard
numbers, with wall-to-wall signals surrounding the FT8 watering holes.

Denny Berg, WB9MSM, completed DXCC on
FT8.

Late last year, Denny
Berg, WB9MSM, achieved his goal of completing DXCC using FT8. It took him
just 4 months.

“I can tell all of you that this mode is
spreading like wildfire throughout all the HF bands,” Berg told The Daily DX at the
time. He said he was able to work all states on FT8 in about 6 weeks of
operating.

Taylor has characterized SSB and CW as
“general-purpose modes” that are good for ragchewing, DXing, contesting, disaster
communication, and other purposes. On the other hand, he has said, FT8 and the
other protocols in the WSJT-X suite are “special-purpose
modes,” designed for making reliable, error-free contacts using signals
that may be too weak to work using more traditional modes — and sometimes
even too far down in the noise even to hear.

Hamvention® to Use AM
Information Radio Station to Communicate with Inbound Traffic

To avoid the first-day traffic tangles of its 2017 debut in Xenia, Ohio,
Hamvention® 2018 will utilize a low-power Information
Radio Station on 1620 kHz AM to get out the word on traffic, parking, and event
details to visitors as they approach the city. The town is bracing to host
an influx of some 25,000 Amateur Radio operators, exhibitors, and the
curious, nearly doubling Xenia’s population while the event is under way, May
19 – 21. Hamvention sponsor, the Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA) is
hoping things will go more smoothly this year.

Due to the web of two-lane roads that serves the venue — the Greene
County Fairgrounds and Expo Center — Hamvention established shuttle-bus
operation to alleviate traffic congestion. The hope is that the information
station will persuade visitors to park at the shuttle lots, and take a
shuttle to the venue.

According to the Michigan firm
providing the Information Radio Station, its signal “will blanket Xenia and 3 – 5
miles into surrounding Greene County, directing approaching motorists to
the five special parking facilities.” The founder of Information Station Specialists, Bill
Baker, hails from Xenia. His company also is broadcasting and exhibiting
at Hamvention (Building 6, Booth 6503) to introduce visitors to Information
Station technology, which is used nationwide.

Hamvention 2017 reported the second-largest attendance in its 67-year history.