The ARRL Letter for May 31, 2018

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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

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The ARRL Letter for May 24, 2018

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If you are
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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.

The ARRL Letter for May 10, 2018

Preview

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

May 10, 2018
Editor: Rick Lindquist, WW1ME

ARRL Home
Page

ARRL Letter Archive

Audio News

 

ARRL Executive Committee Hears Updates on Parity Act,
FCC Petitions, Small Satellites

ARRL Asks FCC to Protect Amateur Radio
Millimeter-Wave Bands

The Doctor Will See You Now!

Support ARRL When Shopping for Mother’s Day

ARRL Announces 2018 QST
Antenna Design Competition

Third Public Test of FT8 DXpediton Mode Deemed a
Success

Historic NSS Call Sign to be Reactivated for Naval
Radio Station’s 100th Anniversary

Iowa National Guard Exercise Pushes Communications
Interoperability Boundary

In Brief…

The K7RA Solar Update

Just Ahead in Radiosport

Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division
Conventions

ARRL Executive
Committee Hears Updates on Parity Act, FCC Petitions, Small Satellites

Meeting on April 21 in Windsor, Connecticut, the ARRL Executive
Committee (EC) heard a status update on the Amateur Radio Parity Act and on
regulatory matters from ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD. Imlay reported
that ARRL continues to work multiple avenues in its efforts to secure passage
of the bill. He said ARRL continues to have solid support from House
leadership, and most notably from Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), who,
Imlay noted,

US
Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-IL).

has worked tirelessly to see the Parity Act become law.

Regulatory

The EC also discussed the
FCC’s recent Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding
the deployment of “small satellites” by colleges, universities, and
commercial entities using experimental licenses on Amateur Radio spectrum. The EC
was told that the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) has changed its
previous policy regarding the coordination of small satellites (CubeSats),
and that FCC policy is overly restrictive in some respects and
insufficiently protective against commercial exploitation of amateur spectrum in other
respects. AMSAT has requested ARRL’s input.

The EC
agreed that ARRL’s comments should reflect our support for World
Radiocommunication Conference 2015 Resolution 659 and IARU
policies. In addition, ARRL (a) will support and encourage college and
university Amateur Radio experiments where the sponsor of the experiment is an
amateur licensee and all operation is in amateur spectrum, and (b) will
discourage commercial or Part 5 experimental operations using Amateur Radio
spectrum.

The EC asked Imlay to file ex parte comments in
support of Petition for Rule Making RM-11775
relating to frequent changing of vanity call signs, and to file ex parte
comments on ARRL’s Petition for Rule Making, RM-11785, noting that
the Canadian government has implemented a new, contiguous 5 MHz band and
permitted a power level of 100 W. The EC also requested that Imlay support a
request by certain ARRL members for an STA or experimental license for
higher terrestrial and EME power levels in the 76 – 81 GHz band, to permit
Amateur Radio experimentation.

ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD.

The EC asked Imlay to share with the
National Telecommunications and Information Agency (NTIA) ARRL’s concerns regarding an NTIA
study to use 3450 – 3550 MHz for mobile wireless applications. That
includes a portion of the 9-millimeter Amateur Radio band.

Updated OO Program Progress

ARRL Atlantic
Division Vice Director Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH, the new chair of the
Amateur Auxiliary Study Working Group, reported via teleconference that he’d
met with the FCC’s Laura Smith concerning implementation of an updated and
improved Official Observers (OO) program. Several attorneys have reviewed the
ARRL’s draft memorandum of understanding, and several Commission attorneys
who have reviewed the new manual for Volunteer Monitors will be providing
feedback on the proposal. Once the FCC’s comments are received and
addressed, the Working Group will present its final report and recommendations to
the EC.

The EC directed CEO Barry Shelley, N1VXY, to
work with the Amateur Auxiliary Study Working Group and Headquarters staff to
update the full Board and membership on the status of the OO program and
potential changes. In the interim, the ARRL Field Organization may resume making a limited number of OO
appointments.

ARRL Governance

The EC discussed a wide range of options to most effectively update ARRL’s
Articles of Association and Bylaws and to bring proposed
additions or revisions to the full Board for its consideration in July. The
Board in January adopted new articles 15 and 16 to make the language of the
Articles of Association consistent with Connecticut nonprofit
corporation statutory language, but filing these with the state was postponed for
additional fine tuning.

Article 15 addresses the
issue of personal liability on the part of Directors, Vice Directors, staff
officers, or volunteers regarding 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 indemnify volunteer and
staff officers, Directors, and Vice Directors for any action taken or any
failure to take action, with conditions similar to those spelled out in
Article 15.

Pursuant to action at the January Board
meeting, the EC reached consensus to develop a revised Policy on Board
Governance and Conduct of Members of the Board of Directors and Vice Directors
(“Code of Conduct”), using a template from the National Council of
Nonprofits and an edited version of the current conduct code. An ad hoc committee
was formed to draft a proposal to be presented at the fall Executive
Committee meeting and, subsequently, to the full Board.

ARRL
will publish white papers to explain changes to the Articles of
Association, Bylaws, and Code of Conduct, in advance of the July Board
meeting. Read more.

ARRL Asks FCC to
Protect Amateur Radio Millimeter-Wave Bands

ARRL
has asked the FCC to avoid authorizing developmental technologies in two
Amateur Radio bands above 95 GHz that some radio amateurs may be unaware of.
ARRL commented on May 2 in response to a Notice of Proposed Rule
Making and Order (NPRM&O) in ET Docket
18-21, released in February. The so-called “Spectrum Horizons” proceeding seeks
to make the bands above 95 GHz “more readily accessible for new innovative
services and technologies.” ARRL said that, while it agrees that
“regulatory flexibility is justified” in the millimeter-wave bands above 95 GHz, due
to the extensive frequency re-use possibilities, the FCC ought to make two
primary Amateur/Amateur Radio Satellite bands in that part of the
spectrum unavailable for deployment of unlicensed Part 15 or Part 5 Experimental
Spectrum Horizons devices. Amateur Radio has primary allocation status in
the bands 134 – 136 GHz and 248 – 250 GHz, both shared with the Radio
Astronomy Service, which is secondary.

“The amateur
allocations require protection against increases in the noise floor due to aggregate
radio frequency devices,” ARRL said. “The bands are used ubiquitously and
unpredictably, typically, but not always, at high elevations for research
and development purposes and propagation studies, for terrestrial
point-to-point, satellite, and Earth-Moon-Earth communications experimentation.”

ARRL said it would oppose “any proposal to permit
unlicensed devices or largely unregulated experimental operations” in the two
primary Amateur Radio allocations in the range of spectrum the FCC is
considering. “It is critical to preserve for Amateur Radio experimentation the current
relatively quiet noise floor, and the positive RF environment that now
exists in those two relatively small band segments,” ARRL told the FCC. The
League’s comments noted that the secondary Radio Astronomy Service in those
two bands also requires a quiet RF environment.