The ARRL Letter for July 12, 2018


If you are
having trouble reading this message, you can see the original at:

July 12, 2018
Editor: Rick Lindquist, WW1ME


ARRL Letter Archive

Audio News


FCC Administrative Law Judge Dismisses Radio Amateur’s
Long-Standing License Renewal Application

Radio Amateur to Pay $7,000, Face Restricted
Privileges to Settle FCC Interference Case

World Radiosport Team Championship 2018 Formally
Opens in Germany

The Doctor Will See You Now!

ARRL Urges Regulatory Regime to Keep Non-Amateur
Satellites off Amateur Spectrum

Baker Island KH1/KH7Z DXpedition in the Record

CASSIOPE Spacecraft Listens In on 2018 ARRL Field

World JOTA-JOTI Registration Now Open

In Brief

Getting It Right!

The K7RA Solar Update

Just Ahead in Radiosport

Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division

FCC Administrative
Law Judge Dismisses Radio Amateur’s Long-Standing License Renewal

A California man embroiled in a long-running
license renewal proceeding has lost the next step in his fight to remain a
radio amateur. In a July 9 Order, FCC
Administrative Law Judge Richard L. Sippel terminated the decade-old license renewal
application of William Crowell, W6WBJ (ex-N6AYJ), of Diamond Springs,
California, upon a motion by Enforcement Bureau Chief Rosemary C. Harold.
Sippel’s Order followed Crowell’s refusal to appear in Washington, DC, for
a hearing to consider not just his license renewal but related enforcement
issues dating back 15 years or more.

“Crowell’s decision not to appear at the hearing has the same
practical effect as if he had initially failed, pursuant to Section 1.221(c)
of the Rules, to file a written notice of appearance or otherwise signal
his intent to participate in the hearing on his pending renewal application,
i.e., he has waived his right to prosecute that application,” Harold said
in the Enforcement Bureau’s June 12 motion to dismiss Crowell’s license
renewal application.

In his Order, Sippel said he
agreed with Harold’s determination. Crowell had asserted that the FCC was
obliged to hold field hearings in the city nearest to a licensee’s residence,
but Sippel said that was incorrect. Crowell invoked financial hardship
rules, but Sippel said those would not apply in an Amateur Radio case.
Dismissal of the renewal application was “with prejudice.”

has been 10 years since the FCC set Crowell’s license renewal application
for hearing, which was to center on whether he had violated FCC Part 97 rules
in the early 2000s, in part by causing intentional interference,
transmitting music, and “using indecent language,” and whether he was qualified to
have his renewal application granted.

Crowell raised the
lengthy delay in his response
to Harold’s June 12 motion. “The more-than-10-year delay in holding a
hearing herein (that’s only since the Hearing Designation Order [was]
issued; the pre-HDO part of the case goes back to 2000) violates my
administrative due process rights,” claimed Crowell, who is an attorney.

Crowell further claimed that most of the witnesses who might
testify at a hearing are now deceased, and “the evidence is terribly
stale.” He said the Enforcement Bureau “has no excuse for not having taken this
case to a hearing at a much earlier date, and, at this point, my ability to
elucidate the truth has been fatally compromised.”

Crowell was fined $25,000 in 2016 for intentionally interfering with the
transmissions of other radio amateurs and transmitting prohibited
communications, including music. The FCC said Crowell did not deny making the
transmissions but argued, in large part, that those transmissions were protected by
the First Amendment of the Constitution. The FCC turned away that

Sippel said he had stayed the renewal case on the basis
of the pending Forfeiture Order proceeding, but said he was later
informed that the US Department of Justice had decided not to prosecute the

Radio Amateur to Pay
$7,000, Face Restricted Privileges to Settle FCC Interference Case

The US Department of Justice and the FCC have reached a
settlement with Brian Crow, K3VR, of North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, to
resolve allegations that Crow intentionally interfered with the communications
of other Amateur Radio operators and failed to properly identify. The core
component of the settlement calls on Crow to pay $7,000 to the US
Treasury, the FCC and US Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania Scott W.
Brady announced in separate July 3 news releases. In addition, Crow’s
Amateur Extra class license will be restricted to Technician-class privileges
for 6 months, and he has agreed to discontinue contact with the individuals
involved in this case. Crow’s Amateur Extra privileges will be restored
after 6 months, “if no new violations have been found,” the FCC said.

“Amateur Radio licensees know that the
rules require them to share the airwaves, which means that bad actors cannot
plead ignorance,” FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief Rosemary Harold said in an FCC release. “This settlement is
a significant payment for an individual operator, and it sends a serious
message: Play by the rules in the Amateur Radio band[s] or face real
consequences. We thank the US Attorney’s Office for understanding the importance
of this type of case and pushing it forward to ensure a resolution that
included strong penalties for substantial violations of the law.”

The settlement resolves a civil complaint (USA v. Brian Crow [No.
17-595]) in Federal District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
to recover an unpaid $11,500 fine that the FCC imposed on Crow in a 2015 Forfeiture Order.

The FCC recounted in its
Forfeiture Order that it had responded in March 2014 to “several complaints of
intentional interference” on 14.313 MHz, and that Commission agents used
radio direction-finding techniques to determine the transmission sources.
According to the court complaint against Crow, FCC agents tracked
transmissions to Crow’s residence and monitored them for approximately 3 hours and
heard him transmit slow-scan television (SSTV) signals and a prerecorded voice
transmission of another Amateur Radio station on the frequency.

The FCC said it worked with Brady’s office to craft the agreement
with Crow arising from its Forfeiture Order “that found his
behavior violated the Communications Act and the Commission’s rules.” Read more.

Radiosport Team Championship 2018 Formally Opens in Germany

Be ready to listen for call signs in the Y2A – Y9A series this weekend.
Following 4 years of preparation, World Radiosport Team Championship 2018
(WRTC 2018)
formally opened on July 12. Now attention turns to see how the 63 competing teams
fare in the 24-hour event, July 14 – 15 in and around Wittenberg, Germany.
Observers will be able to follow their progress via social media or the WRTC 2018 Live
Scoreboard. Fourteen North American teams are on the roster, including defending champions Daniel Craig, N6MJ, and Chris
Hurlbut, KL9A. Several well-known US contesting personalities are among those
serving as referees at each site. Even as the competition neared, WRTC 2018
organizers were searching for a last-minute replacement for a team leader
who had to drop out.

A competition within a contest,
WRTC 2018 takes place in conjunction with the International Amateur Radio
Union (IARU) HF
Championship, although with different or additional rules. Both events get under
way on Saturday at 1200 UTC and conclude on Sunday at 1159 UTC, and all radio
amateurs may take part in the IARU event. The ARRL Headquarters station
will be W1AW/4 in Georgia. The IARU HQ station will identify as NU1AW/9 from
Illinois. These and other HQ stations count as multipliers in calculating
IARU contest scores.

WRTC 2018 organizers have set up a
program of awards and activities intended to “create big pileups for the
WRTC stations” from those who will be on the IARU HF Championship side of the
competition. Awards for outside participants include:

Worked All WRTC Stations (WAWRTC)

Minimum one QSO with each WRTC station.

No need to
send in your log.

Award will automatically be
generated from competitors’ logs.

Even if you are not
sure that the WRTC 2018 team copied your call sign correctly, organizers say
to send in your log anyway, and they will follow up.

WRTC Sprint

Work all 63 WRTC stations as quickly
as possible on any band or mode.

Separate scoring
applies for each of the 29 WRTC 2018 qualification regions.

Pick any time frame during the 24-hour contest.

The winner of each region will receive a special prize.


Complete as many
contacts with WRTC 2018 competitors as possible (63 stations/5 bands/2
modes = up to 630 possible contacts).

scoring applies for each of the 29 WRTC 2018 qualification regions.

The winner of each region will receive a special

Assistant Judge

Special prizes will
be offered to all operators sending in their logs by 1800 UTC on Sunday,
July 15.

WRTC 2018 Distance Challenge

This award is independent of geographic region.

The distance in kilometers between you and the WRTC stations will be
summed for all contacts.

For a precise
calculation, enter your grid locator in the Cabrillo log location field. WRTC 2018
will take place in grid square JO61ls.

conditions could be a big factor, and to that end, Jari Perkiömäki,
OH6BG/OG6G, has prepared what he calls “a propagation starter kit” for WRTC 2018.

“It will give you valuable insights into
making propagation predictions in general, and a set of pre-calculated,
point-to-point, band-by-band prediction tables, together with an extensive set of
coverage area maps,” he said. All predictions are for short-path

German telecommunications regulator
Bundesnetzagentur (BNetzA) announced today that WRTC 2018
teams will use 1 × 1 call signs from the Y2A – Y9A series on a one-time
basis. Y2 – Y9 call sign prefixes were inherited from the former East
Germany regulatory regime and have not been used for nearly 30 years — since the
reunification of East and West Germany. Specific call signs will be
assigned by lottery. Video updates and reports are available on the WRTC 2018 website.
Results will be announced and medals awarded in a closing ceremony on

The Doctor Will See You

“Mailbag” is the topic of the current (July 5)
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, 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

Just ahead: “Zero Beating.”

ARRL Urges Regulatory Regime to
Keep Non-Amateur Satellites off Amateur Spectrum

ARRL wants the FCC to facilitate bona fide Amateur Satellite experimentation
by educational institutions under Part 97 Amateur Service rules, while
precluding the exploitation of amateur spectrum by commercial, small-satellite
users authorized under Part 5 Experimental rules. In comments
filed on July 9 in an FCC proceeding to streamline licensing procedures for
small satellites, ARRL suggested that the FCC adopt a “bright line test” to
define and distinguish satellites that should be permitted to operate under
Amateur Satellite rules, as opposed to non-amateur satellites that could
be authorized under Part 5 Experimental rules.

“Specifically, it is possible to clarify which types of satellite operations are
properly considered amateur experiments conducted pursuant to a Part 97
Amateur Radio license, and [those] which should be considered experimental,
non-amateur facilities, properly authorized by a Part 5 authorization.”

ARRL said it views as “incorrect and overly strict” the
standard the FCC has applied since 2013 to define what constitutes an Amateur
Satellite, forcing academic projects that once would have been operated in
the Amateur Satellite Service to apply for a Part 5 Experimental
authorization instead. This approach was based, ARRL said, on “the false rational” that
a satellite launched by an educational institution must be “non-amateur”
because instructors were being compensated and would thus have a “pecuniary
interest” in the satellite project. ARRL said well-established Commission
jurisprudence contradicts this view.

ARRL told the FCC
that justification exists to expand the category of satellite experiments
conducted under an Amateur Radio license, “especially those in which a
college, university, or secondary school teacher is a sponsor.” But, ARRL
continued, a compelling need exists to discourage Part 5 Experimental
authorizations for satellites intended to operate in amateur allocations by non-amateur
sponsors, “absent compelling showings of need.”

is no doubt but that Amateur Radio should be protected against
exploitation by commercial entities, and there should be a compelling justification
for a Part 5 Experimental license issued for a satellite experiment to be
conducted in amateur spectrum,” ARRL said.

ARRL noted that
International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) policy regarding satellites operated in Amateur
Radio spectrum is only to coordinate satellites where licensees and control
operators are radio amateurs, as well as having a “mission and operation”
consistent with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Radio Regulations’ definitions of
the Amateur and Amateur Satellite services.

ARRL asserted
that incorporating Amateur Radio in experiential learning using small
satellites — e.g., CubeSats — is good for Amateur Radio, for students, and
for the advancement of technology, and it urged the FCC to adopt a regulatory
paradigm that encourages this approach.

AMSAT-NA also filed comments in the proceeding. The AMSAT remarks
reflect several of the same concerns expressed by ARRL. Interested parties
may file reply comments in the proceeding, IB Docket No. 18-86, by August 7,
2018. Read more.

Baker Island KH1/KH7Z
DXpedition in the Record Books

All Baker Island
KH1/KH7Z DXpedition operating positions went silent at 1200 UTC on July 5,
and all logs are believed to have been uploaded to Club Log. The final
contact was on FT8 with JA2FJP on 80 meters. The 14-member team, accompanied by
a US Fish and Wildlife Service escort left the island on July 6 for the
6-day voyage across the International Date Line to Fiji.

“The team is very tired but proud of QSO totals, over
17,300 unique calls [28%] in the log, and the successful deployment of the new
DXpedition version of FT8 that showed over 6,000 unique calls in our log,”
reported team member Don Greenbaum, N1DG. He said the team celebrated
Independence Day with hot dogs and burgers.

The 9-day stay
on Baker yielded 64,434 contacts, including more than 1,200 on 160 meters
under midsummer conditions. Greenbaum said the DXpedition’s use of FT8
allowed many hams with modest stations to put KH1/KH7Z in the log. The team
began tearing down the stations and equipment on July 4.

KH1/KH7Z completed 15,289 contacts (28% of the total) on FT8 DXpedition Mode.
Nearly 41% of all contacts were made on 20 meters, the “bread-and-butter

The team focused on giving out as many all-time
new one (ATNO) contacts as possible.

Full band-by-band,
mode-by-mode statistics are on Club Log, where several stations posted
their observations.

Bob Chortek, AA6VB, in California,
commented, “Thank you all for hard work and sacrifice (time, money, time
away from loved ones, having to endure 100+ degree heat, etc.) to make this
DXpedition a reality. Great job!” Timothy Marek, K7XC, in Nevada, remarked,
“What better way to finish off nine-band DXCC than to work Baker island on
160 for [the] last one! Thank you very much.” Bob Marsh, K2RU, in Virginia,
said, “Many thanks for an ATNO. Propagation looked bleak for the first
couple days, but then SSB and CW within 55 minutes of each other! Nicely run

The KH1/KH7Z DXpedition team was headed to
Fiji on the first leg of its trip home. The Dateline DX Association (DDXA)
sponsored the Baker Island DXpedition.

CASSIOPE Spacecraft Listens In on 2018 ARRL Field

The Canadian CASSIOPE (CAScade,
SmallSat, and Ionospheric Polar Explorer) spacecraft once again eavesdropped on
ARRL Field Day activity. CASSIOPE’s Radio Receiver Instrument (RRI) was
tuned to 7.005 MHz during six passes over the North American continent during
Field Day 2018, although there was no advanced publicity this year. The RRI
is a component of the spacecraft’s Enhanced Polar Outflow Probe (e-POP), a
suite of eight science instruments that study space weather.

“We’re really happy with our results this year,” remarked Gareth Perry,
a physics and astronomy postdoctoral research associate at the University
of Calgary in Canada, CASSIOPE’s home institution. “RRI recorded plenty of
chatter between Field Day participants, especially during our passes over
the eastern and central United States on the evening of [June 23].”

CASSIOPE also had turned a close ear to activity during Field
Day 2015 and 2017, and its activities last year were heavily promoted.

“It’s been tough to sort out the 2017 data, so we decided to
use a different tactic this year,” Perry said. He and members of the Ham
Radio Science Citizen Investigation (HamSCI) group coordinated with the Nashoba Valley Amateur
Radio Club (N1NC) and with the Indianapolis Radio Club (W9JP) — which operated
Field Day as N9NS with the Hoosier DX and Contest Club (N9NS) and a
coalition of other Central Indiana radio clubs — to “direct traffic,” asking
their members to stick to pre-selected frequencies during the passes, and to
record their transmitting logs.

“We figured that it would
be easier to assign frequencies ahead of time, so that we [would] know where
to look in post-processing, which seems to have paid off,” Perry added.

Perry and the HamSCI group have been using ARRL Field Day
as an opportunity to study space weather and HF radio wave propagation.
He’s hoping that CASSIOPE will continue to participate in Field Day. “We’re
looking forward to next year already!” he said.

Perry is
the lead author of the first publication to use data from the ARRL Field
Day experiments, Citizen radio science: an analysis of Amateur Radio
transmissions with e-POP RRI. The paper, which reports on CASSIOPE’s
involvement in ARRL Field Day 2015, is set for publication in Radio
Science. Read more.

World JOTA-JOTI Registration Now Open

Registration is open worldwide for Scouting’s
Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) and Jamboree on the Internet. JOTA-JOTI take place
October 19 – 21 — always the third weekend of October. JOTA Coordinator
Jim Wilson, K5ND, encourages JOTA groups to register as soon as possible.

“The sign-up system this year is much simpler,” Wilson
told ARRL. “There is no need to first register an account at before signing in.” Wilson
said JOTA-JOTI will generate “an explosion of communication across the
Amateur Radio airwaves and the internet.” He anticipates that more than 1
million Scouts and Guides will take part in more than 150 countries. A JOTA-JOTI
Participant’s Guide is available.

“JOTA began in 1957 following the World Jamboree that year, when the ham
radio operators gathered over coffee and thought about doing the on-the-air
part of Jamboree every year,” Wilson recounted. This year will mark the
61st JOTA (and the 22nd year of JOTI). “Many JOTA Amateur Radio stations are
also starting to use JOTI channels, like ScoutLink, to more readily connect with Scouts
around the world,” Wilson told ARRL. “Other channels include Skype, YouTube,
and social media.”

Wilson said once groups have
registered, other locations around the world will know to look for them.
“Likewise, you’ll be able to see at a glance all the rest of the locations from
across town to the other side of the Earth,” he added.

In Brief

AMSAT has issued its first call for papers for its 2018 Annual Meeting and
Space Symposium. The event is set for November 2 – 4 at the US
Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Proposals for papers,
symposium presentations, and poster presentations are invited on any topic of
interest to the Amateur Satellite community. AMSAT requests a tentative
presentation title as soon as possible. Final copy must be submitted by October
15 for inclusion in the printed proceedings. Send abstracts and papers to Dan Schultz,
N8FGV. — Thanks to AMSAT News Service

A radio
amateur in Japan has Completed WAS on 6 meters. Tac Hirama, JA7QVI, has
fulfilled all requirements for the Worked All States (WAS) award on 6 meters. New Jersey was
the last state he needed to work, and he managed a moonbounce (EME) contact
as well as a conventional ionospheric contact. It’s quite possible that
JA7QVI is the first radio amateur to earn WAS on 6 meters from Japan, although
that cannot be confirmed. Completing WAS on 6 meters was a major goal for
him, Hirama said, and an Earth-Moon-Earth contact with Andy Blank, N2NT, on
June 17 clinched the deal. He’d been working on achieving WAS on 6 meters
since 1977. JA7QVI now has accomplished WAS on 10 bands, 160 through 6

Hungary has regained access to 60
meters. The Hungarian National Media and Infocommunications Authority
(NMHH) has published an update to the National Frequency
Allocation Table to provide Amateur Radio access to the band 5,351.5 to 5,366.5
kHz at a maximum power of 15 W EIRP, per World Radiocommunication
Conference 2015. Previously, 3-month permits were available to allow access to
5,350 to 5,450 kHz at 100 W, but these were discontinued in 2017. — Thanks
to Paul Gaskell, G4MWO/The 5 MHz Newsletter

A new Reverse Beacon Network (RBN) node is now operating in Liberia
at the station of Richmond Harding, EL2BG. The new node was established
with funding from the Yasme Foundation, as part of the RBN’s effort to fill coverage gaps in
its coverage in the developing world, following in the footsteps of VU2PTT
and ET3AA. — Thanks to Pete Smith, N4ZR

Getting It Right!

The article
“ARRL Field Day 2018 Participants Have Fun Despite Dicey HF Conditions” in
the June 28 edition of The ARRL Letter contained incorrect information
in a photo caption, which should have read “Kevin Smith, KK6VF, of the
West Valley Amateur Radio Association, demonstrates the K6EI GOTA station to a
young ARRL Field Day visitor. [Bill Frantz, AE6JV, photo]”

The K7RA Solar Update

Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, reports: No sunspots have been visible for 15
days (as of July 11). According to, to find an equally
long stretch of no sunspots, we have to look back about 10 years, when we were
emerging from the deepest solar minimum in a century and the sun was blank
for 52 consecutive days. did report “a relatively small
spot” on August 11-12, 2008, however, and it may have been so small that
NOAA didn’t record it.

Despite the lack of sunspots
last week, solar flux rose from an average of 68.2 in the previous week to
71.5 in the July 5-11 period. Average daily planetary A index increased from
4 to 7.3, while average daily mid-latitude A index increased from 4 to

Predicted solar flux is 73 on July 12-19; 76, 74, 72,
72, and 70 on July 20-24; 68 on July 25 – August 2; 70 on August 3; 72 on
August 4-6; 74 on August 7; 76 on August 8-16; 74, 72, 72, and 70 on August
17-20, and 68 on August 21-25.

Predicted planetary A
index is 5 on July 12-19; 15, 8, 10, 18, and 8 on July 20-24; 5 on July 25 –
August 4; 12 and 8 on August 6-7; 5 on August 8-10; 16 and 8 on August
11-12; 5 on August 13-15; 15, 8, 10, 18, and 8 on August 16-20, and 5 on August

Sunspot numbers for July 5 through 11, 2018
were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, and 0, with a mean of 0. The 10.7-centimeter flux was
68.1, 70.5, 72, 71.6, 72.9, 72.1, and 73.3, with a mean of 71.5. Estimated
planetary A indices were 17, 7, 5, 4, 3, 7, and 8, with a mean of 7.3.
Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 11, 8, 6, 6, 5, 11, and 8, with a mean of

Send me your reports or propagation observations.

Just Ahead in

July 14 — FISTS Summer Unlimited Sprint

July 14-15

The ARRL Letter for June 28, 2018


If you are
having trouble reading this message, you can see the original at:

June 28, 2018
Editor: Rick Lindquist, WW1ME


ARRL Letter Archive

Audio News


“Baker is Brutal!” KH1/KH7Z DXpedition Team Reports
upon Arrival

Attendance Holds Steady at Hamvention 2018

ARRL Field Day 2018 Participants Have Fun Despite
Dicey HF Conditions

The Doctor Will See You Now!

World Radiosport Team Championship 2018: The
Ham Radio Event of the Summer

13 Colonies Special Event to Mark 10th Anniversary
this Year

In Brief…

The K7RA Solar Update

Just Ahead in Radiosport

Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division

The ARRL Letter Will Not Be Published on July 5. Because of the Independence Day holiday,
there will be no edition of The ARRL
Letter on Thursday, July 5,
and there will be no edition of ARRL Audio News on
Friday, July 6. The next edition of The ARRL Letter will be published on
Thursday, July 12, and ARRL Audio News will resume on Friday, July
13. We wish everyone a safe and enjoyable holiday!

“Baker is Brutal!” KH1/KH7Z DXpedition
Team Reports upon Arrival

“Baker is brutal!” That
was the initial assessment from the Baker Island KH1/KH7Z DXpedition team, which
arrived at the uninhabited South Pacific atoll on June 26 at local sunrise,
following a 4-day sea voyage. The KH1/KH7Z team started up early on June 27,
initially with four stations on the air, with additional stations and
modes, including FT8, joining the fray by June 28.

“Island conditions are extremely hot and difficult. Long work periods in
the sun are challenging,” a June 27 DXpedition news update reported. The
team reported that the landing “was not too bad, but the island is an oven,”
with the temperature well above 100 °F by mid-morning. Despite
challenging tides, the crew of the Nai’a was able to offload all tents,
generators, and emergency supplies. After the initial landing team left
“totally exhausted,” a fresh crew arrived to put up the tents for sleeping and
move radios, antennas, and generators to the storage and operating tents.

“They say it never rains on Baker,” the DXpedition noted in
its June 28 update. “At midnight, giant squalls came through, knocking out
one of our three antennas that we worked so hard to get up. We worked
through the morning and [now] have 6 stations available.”

The KH1/KH7Z frequency plan is on the DXpedition website. DXpedition operators generally will
operate split. Do not call on the DX station’s
transmitting frequency.

FT8 “DXpedition Mode”
operation is planned. Stations should have WSJT-X version 1.9.1 installed
and be in “Hound” mode (check the appropriate box under the “Advanced” tab
in the WSJT-X File/Settings menu). More
information on DXpedition Mode is available from the WSJT-X
Development Team.

Plans call for the DXpedition to be “very
active” on 60 meters. Logs will be uploaded to Club Log.

his June 28 Ham Talk Live! internet radio program, Neil Rapp, WB9VPG, has
arranged for a satellite telephone contact with the Baker Island DXpeditionteam
and will take callers via Skype or telephone. He’ll also take live questions
via Twitter (@HamTalkLive) or, in advance, by email. Ham Talk Live! streams
Thursdays at 9 PM EDT (0100 UTC on Fridays in North American Time Zones).

Attendance Holds Steady at
Hamvention 2018

Hamvention® marked another
successful year in 2018, General Chair Ron Cramer, KD8ENJ, told ARRL this week. At
28,417 visitors, Hamvention recorded its third-largest attendance ever in
its second year at its still-new location in Xenia, Ohio.

“We had a slight decline in attendance, but we think people were waiting
to hear about the upgrades we made, and some upgrades did not happen until
the very last moment,” Cramer allowed. “Many were worried about the

The drop in attendance amounted to some 900 fewer
visitors from 2017. Hamvention attendance peaked in 1993 at 33,669, before the
1996 change in date from April to May and while it was still being held at
Hara Arena.

The Hamvention 2018 Amateur of the Year was Val Hotzfeld, NV9L, who
volunteered in Puerto Rico after last fall’s hurricanes, on behalf of the
American Red Cross.

Cramer said other events in the Xenia-Dayton area cramped lodging
availability, but Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA) organizers were “very
pleased with the results and comments everyone has made this year.”

Hamvention’s 2018 theme was “Amateur Radio…Serving the Community,”
and the event highlighted emergency communication forums — many put on by
ARRL — plus a big display of emergency communication vehicles.

This was a year of “fine tuning the event” through critique
sessions with committee chairs and evaluating comments, compliments, and
criticisms from first-year Xenia attendees and vendors, Cramer said.

“From all the information we have received back already this year,
from guests and vendors, we believe we have been successful and are working
hard to prepare for Hamvention 2019,” Cramer offered. “We expect new
additions to the show and finer tuning to make sure our guests keep coming back.”
Read more.

ARRL Field Day 2018 Participants Have Fun Despite
Dicey HF Conditions

With typical propagation no
better than fair to pretty good, most ARRL Field Day participants nonetheless
enjoyed the 2018 running of Amateur Radio’s most popular operating event

The ARRL Letter for June 21, 2018


If you are
having trouble reading this message, you can see the original at:

June 21, 2018
Editor: Rick Lindquist, WW1ME


ARRL Letter Archive

Audio News


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,

In Brief…

The K7RA Solar Update

Just Ahead in Radiosport

Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division

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

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

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.

The ARES E-Letter for June 20, 2018


If you are
having trouble reading this message, you can see the original at:

June 20,
Editor: Rick Palm,

ARES E-Letter Archive



In This Issue:


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

National Hurricance Center’s WX4NHC Station Test

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

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.

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

ARES® Connect

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

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.

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.

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

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

National Hurricance Center’s WX4NHC Station Test

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Temporary antenna structures properly secured and marked.

Site secured from
tripping hazards.

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

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


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

Join or Renew Today! ARRL membership includes QST, Amateur Radio’s most
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Subscribe to NCJ — the National Contest Journal. Published
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Communications Experimenters. Published bi-monthly, features technical
articles, construction projects, columns and other items of interest to radio
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Free of charge
to ARRL members: Subscribe to the
ARES E-Letter(monthly public service and emergency communications
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and Section news alerts — and much more!

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The ARRL Letter for June 14, 2018


If you are
having trouble reading this message, you can see the original at:

June 14, 2018
Editor: Rick Lindquist, WW1ME


ARRL Letter Archive

Audio News


Reverse Beacon Network Beta Testing Separate Spot
Stream for FT8

Sailor Grateful for Maritime Mobile Service Network

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

A Fresh Voice for Broadcast Reporter Jamie Dupree,

Yasme Foundation Director, Secretary Kip Edwards,

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

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

The popular Reverse Beacon Network (RBN) has
announced that it’s now offering — as a beta test — a separate telnet feed
for FT8 spots ( port 7001), in addition to the
current spot feed ( 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.”

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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


If you are
having trouble reading this message, you can see the original at:

June 6, 2018
Editor: Rick Lindquist, WW1ME


ARRL Letter Archive

Audio News


ARRL Drone Transmitters Complaint Spurs Proposed $2.8
Million FCC Penalty

Article Raises Visibility of Amateur Radio Parity Act Progress,

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
is Now Available

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

President Nominates Enforcement Bureau Official to

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

ARRL Foundation Announces Two New

In Brief…

Getting It Right

The K7RA Solar Update

Just Ahead in Radiosport

Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division

Internet Access to ARRL Headquarters to be Disrupted Briefly on June

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

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

Article Raises Visibility of Amateur Radio Parity Act Progress,

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.

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

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

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, and
the Doctor may answer them in a future podcast.

“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

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

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

“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

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,

Foundation Announces Two New Scholarships

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.


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
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.

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.

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

Just Ahead in

June 8 — HA3NS Sprint Memorial
Contest (CW)

June 9 — Asia-Pacific Sprint (SSB)

June 9-10

The ARRL Letter for May 31, 2018


If you are
having trouble reading this message, you can see the original at:

May 31, 2018
Editor: Rick Lindquist, WW1ME


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

In Brief…

The K7RA Solar Update

Just Ahead in Radiosport

Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division

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


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.


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.

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

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.

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.


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

“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

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

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, 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.

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

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

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.

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