The ARRL Letter for May 24, 2018

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May 24, 2018
Editor: Rick Lindquist, WW1ME

ARRL Home
Page

ARRL Letter Archive

Audio News

 

ARRL White Paper Provides Context for Recommended
Governance Changes

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

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

The Doctor Will See You Now!

New Section Managers Elected in Five ARRL
Sections

Amateur Radio Transponders on Planned Chinese
Satellites to Include HF

Solar Eclipse QSO Party Research Results Published
in Geophysical Research Letters

ARRL Business Services Manager Debra Jahnke, K1DAJ,
SK

In Brief…

The K7RA Solar Update

Just Ahead in Radiosport

Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division
Conventions

ARRL White Paper
Provides Context for Recommended Governance Changes

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

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

Articles of Association and By-Laws

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Code of Conduct”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Doctor Will
See You Now!

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

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

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

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

New Section Managers Elected in Five ARRL
Sections

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amateur Radio Transponders on Planned
Chinese Satellites to Include HF

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

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

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

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

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

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

Solar Eclipse QSO
Party Research Results Published in Geophysical Research Letters

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

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

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

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

ARRL Business Services Manager Debra Jahnke, K1DAJ,
SK

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

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

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

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

In
Brief…

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

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

The K7RA Solar Update

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

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

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

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

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

Send me your
reports and observations.

Just Ahead in Radiosport

May 26-27

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The ARRL Letter for May 17, 2018

Preview

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

May 17, 2018
Editor: Rick Lindquist, WW1ME

ARRL Home
Page

ARRL Letter Archive

Audio News

 

Amateur Radio Parity Act Language Inserted in National
Defense Authorization Act

FT8 Activity Bumping Up at Some Expense to Other
Modes

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

The Doctor Will See You Now!

ARRL to Show Off Ham Radio at EAA AirVenture
Oshkosh 2018

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

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

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

Maritime Radio Historical Society’s Museum Station
K6KPH is Back

In Brief…

The K7RA Solar Update

Just Ahead in Radiosport

Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division
Conventions

Amateur Radio Parity
Act Language Inserted in National Defense Authorization Act

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FT8 Activity Bumping Up at Some Expense to
Other Modes

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

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

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

Denny Berg, WB9MSM, completed DXCC on
FT8.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The ARRL Letter for May 10, 2018

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May 10, 2018
Editor: Rick Lindquist, WW1ME

ARRL Home
Page

ARRL Letter Archive

Audio News

 

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

ARRL Asks FCC to Protect Amateur Radio
Millimeter-Wave Bands

The Doctor Will See You Now!

Support ARRL When Shopping for Mother’s Day

ARRL Announces 2018 QST
Antenna Design Competition

Third Public Test of FT8 DXpediton Mode Deemed a
Success

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

Iowa National Guard Exercise Pushes Communications
Interoperability Boundary

In Brief…

The K7RA Solar Update

Just Ahead in Radiosport

Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division
Conventions

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

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

US
Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-IL).

has worked tirelessly to see the Parity Act become law.

Regulatory

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

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

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

ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD.

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

Updated OO Program Progress

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

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

ARRL Governance

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

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

Article 16 would indemnify volunteer and
staff officers, Directors, and Vice Directors for any action taken or any
failure to take action, with conditions similar to those spelled out in
Article 15.

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

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

ARRL Asks FCC to
Protect Amateur Radio Millimeter-Wave Bands

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

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

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

The ARRL Letter for April 27, 2018

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April 27, 2018
Editor: Rick Lindquist, WW1ME

ARRL Home
Page

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Audio News

 

JK Antennas Donates 40-Meter Yagi to W1AW

Look for “Ham Radio 2.0 — Innovation and
Discovery” at Hamvention

The Doctor Will See You Now!

Hams on Dominica Conduct “Preparedness” Field Day
in Advance of Hurricane Season

ARRL Raises Amateur Radio’s Profile at 2018
National Association of Broadcasters Convention

FCC Releases Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
on Small Satellites

Former “Coast to Coast AM” Radio Show Host Art
Bell, W6OBB, SK

In Brief…

The K7RA Solar Update

Getting It Right

Just Ahead in Radiosport

Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division
Conventions

ARRL Website, Some
Services to be Down Briefly on Tuesday, May 1: The ARRL website
and some services will be down for maintenance for up to 1 hour on Tuesday,
May 1, starting at approximately 0900 UTC. During this period some or all
systems may be temporarily inaccessible. This includes all content on http://www.arrl.org (including the ARRL Store), https://ift.tt/2vXiU42,
and https://ift.tt/2kZsL1H. Logbook of the World (LoTW) and e-mail will
not be affected. We apologize for any inconvenience.

JK Antennas Donates 40-Meter Yagi to
W1AW

JK Antennas of Connecticut has generously donated and assembled a new
two-element, 40-meter Yagi on site at Maxim Memorial Station W1AW at ARRL
Headquarters. JK Antennas’ Ken Garg, W3JK, and his assistant Craig Finley
transported the new Yagi to W1AW on April 24 for assembly and
installation.

Ken Garg, W3JK, assembles the new
JK403T 40-meter Yagi at W1AW.

“I am very grateful for Ken’s generosity,” said W1AW Station Manager
Joe Carcia, NJ1Q. “His kindness toward W1AW, his technical expertise, and
pride in his product is most refreshing.”

Carcia said
the new antenna replaces an antenna that had not been performing as needed
and had failed a couple of times in the past.

“What we
did on April 24 was remove the old two-element, 40-meter Yagi — fixed to the
south-southwest and used for all of our 40-meter code practice and
bulletin transmissions — and replaced it with the JK402T two-element, 40 meter
Yagi,” Carcia explained.

The new 40-meter Yagi is installed at W1AW.

Taking down the old antenna were Andrew Toth — who
works with antenna pro Matt Strelow, KC1XX (XX Towers Inc.) — and Finley.
Carcia pitched in to tram the old antenna down a line and off the tower.
Strelow and Toth, who handle most of W1AW’s antenna maintenance, were at
W1AW to perform spring antenna and tower inspections. “The installation of the
JK402T was a bonus! The timing just worked out,” Carcia said, adding that
the pair also installed a second 6-meter loop for scheduled transmissions
on that band.

Strelow, Carcia, and Finley hoisted the
new antenna into place with Toth pulling from the tower and then affixing the
new Yagi and making the necessary feed-line connections. Garg oversaw the
process of assembling the antenna and trimming the elements to W1AW’s
specification.

W1AW Station Manager Joe
Carcia, NJ1Q, assists with the antenna installation.

Carcia recounted that the old antenna could
not provide full band coverage right out of the box, and required the user
to pick a band segment for operation. “I had to compromise and tune it for
the CW/digital segment,” Carcia said, but when it came to either end of 40
meters, the amplifier was not happy.”

In contrast,
Carcia said the JK402T offers wide bandwidth, keeping the SWR below 2:1 across
the entire 40-meter band.

The entire enterprise

The ARES E-Letter for April 20 2016

Preview If you are having trouble reading this message, you can see the original at:http://ift.tt/1ST90z3 April 20, 2016 Editor: Rick Palm, K1CE ARES E-Letter Archive ARES Home ARRL Home Page In This Issue:   Oregon Amateurs Aid SAR Mission ARRL to offer Understanding Local MOU’s webinar Tip: FEMA Daily Operations Briefings, Other News, Alerts, Available by E-Mail Baker to Vegas Relay Challenge Supported by Mass of Southwestern Hams Letters: ARDF and SAR Tech Tip: ARES/RACES Powerpole Configuration Letters: Of Tone Squelch Systems and Alerts Letters: Check Laws before Spiking the Ground FEMA Bulletin: Learn to Protect Yourself in a Tornado Situation Parting Shots ARES Briefs, Links FEMA Official Tells ARRL Delaware Section Conference that Her Agency Values Amateur Radio (4/14/16); Sign up for FEMA alerts, news, briefs here, see story below; Ohio SEC Hoping to Expand “NVIS Antenna Day” Activity this Year (4/6/2016); Hurricane Watch Net Seeks Net Control Operators (3/30/2016); Washington National Guard Communications Exercise Involves Use of 60 Meters (3/30/2016); Puerto Rico ARES Volunteers Take Part in Caribe Wave 2016 Exercise (3/21/2016) The Florida Statewide Hurricane Exercise, tentatively scheduled for May 18, includes Amateur Radio support for this year’s event: the plan calls for every county ARES group to send a simple message to the State EOC at Tallahassee via HF or SARNet (UHF). Details will be forthcoming from ARRL section leadership. An ARRL West Central Florida Section press release calls for ARES members statewide to contact their local Emergency Coordinator for information on how to participate.The State EOC has requested that individual amateurs are not to contact the State EOC or Division of Emergency Management concerning the exercise. The ARRL Northern Florida Section ARES Communications Plan has been revised and updated for NIMS compliance, new technologies and modes, and will be released in time for implementation before the statewide hurricane exercise.

The ARES E-Letter for March 16, 2016

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March 16,
2016
Editor: Rick Palm, K1CE

ARES E-Letter Archive

ARES Home

ARRL Home
Page

In This
Issue:

 

Amateur Radio Sessions at the
National Hurricane Conference, Orlando, Next Week

Communications Support for the “Greatest Free Show
on Earth”

Wisconsin’s Sawyer County ARES/RACES Receives
Donation from Ski Race Foundation

Letters: W1HKJ fldigi Suite’s flmsg

Florida Amateurs Take Part In Severe Weather
Awareness Day

Letters: Mass Alert Systems

Boston Marathon Communications Committee Seeks
Amateur-Volunteers

Biennial Radiation Drill Supported by Southern
Florida ARES

Tech Tips: Crimping Tools

Letters: Solar Panels

Maryland-DC ARES Statewide ARDF/SAR for Missing
Person

ARES Briefs, Links

Special
Deputy John Krawczak, KJ0P, of Minnetonka, Minnesota, was recently presented
the 2015 Hennepin County Sheriff’s Distinguished Service Award and the
2015 Minnesota Sheriff’s Association Volunteer Of The Year Award. Krawczak is
a member of the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office Volunteer Services
Division on the Communications Response Team. Twenty radio amateurs are members of
the team that provides public safety and amateur communications support in
emergencies/disasters and community events.

The Puerto
Rico Emergency Management Agency (PREMA) and other agencies will
participate in a communications drill simulating a tsunami incident, along with
radio amateurs in supporting roles. The exercise is slated for tomorrow, March
17 at 10 AM local time.The Puerto Rico ARES organization will be active,
and registered on http://www.tsunamizone.org where more information can be found. The aim of the
exercise is to test the reliability of communication systems and protocols
between centers of tsunami alerts and to help emergency management agencies
to improve their preparedness in the event of an alert. Since 2010,
Amateur Radio operators have played a role in the exercise, executed in
conjunction with the Puerto Rico Seismic Network (RSPR), the Caribbean Warning
Tsunami Exercise (Caribe Wave), FEMA, the Puerto Rico Emergency Management
Administration, and NOAA.

ARRL Officials at Michigan
Communications Conference: The 2016 Michigan
Statewide Interoperability Communications Conference held at Great Wolf Lodge
February 22-25 in Traverse City, Michigan,

ARRL officials
attend Michigan conference, l to r, Dale Williams, WA8EFK, Great Lakes
Division Director; Larry Camp, WB8R, Michigan Section Manager; John McDonough,
WB8RCR, Michigan Section Emergency Coordinator.

featured the state’s auxcomm protocols, with amateurs
playing a significant role in many presentations and discussions. From the
conference summary, “In an emergency, every link in the chain is critical
and those links must be firmly connected. That means every agency, every
leader and every employee needs to be on the same page and committed to our
shared strategic vision of interoperability.”

Armed
Forces Day 2016 Communication Test to Include Direct Military-Ham Contact on
60 Meters (3/1/16); ARES Groups, Individual Hams Support Army and Air Force
MARS Communications Exercise (3/1/16); ARES Team Leverages Radio Services, Local
Media, Internet in Missouri Flood Watch (2/22/16)

Amateur Radio Sessions at the National Hurricane
Conference, Orlando, Next Week

Amateur Radio
capabilities will be presented at the 2016 National Hurricane Conference,
which will be held next week in Orlando, Florida, at the Orlando Hilton
hotel. The conference theme is to improve hurricane preparedness as it has
been in past years. All Amateur Radio sessions are free, and all will be
held on Tuesday afternoon, March 22, 2016 from 1:30 to 5:00 PM. Here is the
session breakdown:

NHC Session #1 – 1:30 to 3:00
PM: Dr. Rick Knabb, Director, National Hurricane Center will discuss the
importance of Amateur Radio surface reporting. Bob Robichaud, VE1MBR, of the
Canadian Hurricane Centre, will present on hurricane meteorological topics
and an overview of Canadian Hurricane Centre operations. Julio Ripoll,WD4R,
Assistant Amateur Radio Station Coordinator will present on National
Hurricane Center station WX4NHC operations.

NHC Session
#2: 3:15 to 5:00 PM: Bobby Graves, KB5HAV, Hurricane Watch Net Manager,
will present an overview of the net, use of personal weather stations and
backup power/antenna. Rob Macedo, KD1CY, Director of Operations, VoIP
Hurricane Net and ARRL ARES Eastern Massachusetts Assistant SEC, will discuss net
operations, and best practices in SKYWARN tropical systems reporting. Ken
Bailey, K1FUG, ARRL Assistant Manager of Preparedness and Response, will
present the ARRL Beginner’s Course in Ham Radio Hurricane Preparedness.
Finally, a Q&A session and door raffle prizes will be offered.

Amateur Radio presentations will be recorded and live streamed. The
livestream for 2016 will be on You Tube. Livestream links will be as follows:

http://ift.tt/1Ufq1ZN

http://ift.tt/1lNbm42

Communications Support for the “Greatest Free
Show on Earth”

Mardi Gras is an annual celebration in
New Orleans that’s tied to the Christian tradition of Lent before Easter.
Sixty-four parades with up to 50 floats each are enjoyed by locals and
nearly 1.2 million visitors over the course of 2 weeks leading up to Mardi Gras
day (literally, “Fat Tuesday,” the day before Lent starts on Ash
Wednesday). The multiple daily events of the Mardi Gras celebration have been called
“the world’s largest planned natural disaster.” Eric Pickering, KE5BMU, is
the City’s Deputy Operations Chief in the New Orleans Office of Homeland
Security & Emergency Preparedness (NOHSEP), and his team is responsible for
responding to unplanned events that are real, likely, or feared.

Of course, a communications infrastructure failure is high on the
list of likely disasters that can be mitigated with planning and practice.
And so Pickering began working closely with two local hams, Rafael
Shabetai, W5BAI, and Cedric Walker, K5CFW. Together they re-activated a station in
City Hall that had been built for NOHSEP by Bob McBride, AE5RN (SK) and
began planning for an expansion into the NOHSEP mobile command post bus. The
three had two goals: involving local hams who could serve as the “eyes and
ears” of NOHSEP in a disaster or emergency, and ensuring that a robust
backup communications network was trained and prepared to take over if the
state-wide primary trunked 800 MHz network stopped working.

Because New Orleans residents still vividly remember the wrath of
Hurricane Katrina in 2005, it’s easy to convince them that the goals of operator
preparedness and equipment readiness can mean the difference between life and
death. After Katrina, the trunked public safety network and all cellphone
voice capability shut down. The only

Rafael Shabetai, W5BAI, operating Net Control at the
Mobile Command Post (Photo credit W5BAI)

remaining communications channels were via
ham-operated VHF and UHF repeaters. And so Pickering, Shabetai and Walker decided to
create a repeater-based training exercise, centered around Mardi Gras when
so many residents/hams are out and about and likely to be carrying their H-T
radios anyway.

Of the 64 parades in the New Orleans
area, 29 follow a similar 3.7 mile route down St. Charles Avenue and along
Canal Street in the Central Business District. Three first aid stations along
the route are in operation during the parades, and arrangements were made
to credential ham volunteers to give them access as bases of operations.
Three repeater owners (Southeast Louisiana Emergency Communications Service
W5MCC, Jefferson Amateur Radio Club W5GAD, and the Greater New Orleans
Amateur Radio Club W5UK) granted access to their machines for the duration of
the Mardi Gras exercises. A mobile command post along the route serves the
many city departments that keep the parade route safe and clear. An operating
position in the mobile command post bus was set aside for net control, and
a street sign next to the bus’ parking place served as a convenient
temporary mast for a dual-band vertical antenna. A transceiver from the City Hall
station was temporarily relocated to the mobile command post, but next
year a dedicated transceiver and antenna will be installed.

With operation locations and equipment in place, the team’s next task was
recruiting a cadre of volunteers. Pickering made a successful recruitment
presentation at the W5GAD club meeting. The Assistant Section Emergency
Coordinator Matt Anderson, KD5KNZ, plus ARES Emergency Coordinators for New
Orleans Joel Colman, NO5FD, and neighboring Jefferson Parish Nick Frederick,
W4NDF, all stepped up to recruit operators for both field and net control
positions, and all three volunteered as operators. It was decided to limit
operations to the weekend immediately before Mardi Gras day, and to Mardi
Gras day, as these dates have the biggest parades with the highest
attendance. Ten volunteers participated, and check-ins from other hams along the
parade route added to the numbers compiled by each net control shift. No
emergencies were handled, and we were fortunate that the city’s regular emergency
communication infrastructure did not need a backup.

The ham community demonstrated that it could serve NOHSEP professionally and
reliably. This was the first year of an organized effort to bring hams into
the NOHSEP operation, and it was incomplete because many parades were not
covered. With the success of this year’s demonstration and the goodwill
that was generated, it will be possible to mount a bigger recruitment effort
and provide coverage for more of the 64 parades that make Mardi Gras the
greatest free show on earth. — Cedric F. Walker, K5CFW [The author is
Professor Emeritus, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Tulane
University].

Wisconsin’s
Sawyer County ARES/RACES Receives Donation from Ski Race Foundation

The American Birkebeiner Ski Race, known as the Birkie, is North America’s
largest cross-country ski race. Held in northwest Wisconsin, the race is 33
miles long, starts in Cable, and ends on Main Street in downtown Hayward.
This was the 43rd year for the Birkie and 10,500 skiers came from the US and
Canada, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Italy, Japan and many other
countries.

Eighteen years ago the Birkie Foundation asked
the Amateur Radio community to help with communications along the race course
and amateurs from a five-county area around Hayward in Sawyer County have
been doing it ever since. There are nine medical and nine food stations
along the race course that provide medical help to those who need it, with the
food stations providing power drinks and refreshments to the skiers.
Amateur Radio operators are at these stations to relay information regarding
medical issues (dropouts, injuries, etc.) and food station needs (low on
supplies for skiers, etc.) back to a net control station, which gives the
information to the Birkie office during the event.

This year
the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation donated $2,500 to the Sawyer County
ARES/RACES group to purchase and maintain two new amateur VHF repeaters in
Sawyer County. With this donation, Sawyer County ARES/RACES is able to
replace two old repeaters and the accessories for them. — Wally Kruk,
N9VAO, Sawyer County ARES/RACES, Wisconsin, Emergency Coordinator

Letters: W1HKJ fldigi Suite’s
flmsg

Many digital mode operators familiar with flmsgthink of it as a forms
utility for use only with fldigi. However, it’s also a great cross-platform, stand-alone
program. We have used it to prepare and move forms (ICS, radiogram, etc.) within
our EOC by thumb drive, shared drive and mesh network. Our county
officials can put flmsg on their computers and send the files to the radio room
without any need for transcribing or cut and paste. We also send flmsg files
as attachments to email and radio-email messages and they may also be placed
on store-forward bulletin board systems. Additionally, amateurs have been
working with W1HKJ to make the flsmg ICS-213 form FEMA compliant and
completely compatible for use within the National Traffic System (NTS). The text
can be transported within NTS via voice, cw and digital modes using the
standard radiogram format as a “wrapper” for the file. NTS-Digital can also
handle flmsg files as attachments to radiograms. — Steve Hansen, KB1TCE, Knox County
ARES/RACES-CERT, Owl’s Head, Maine

Florida Amateurs Take Part In Severe Weather Awareness
Day

The Lake Amateur Radio Association (LARA) of
Lake County, Florida, and its ARES group were invited to take part in the
county Public Safety Department Emergency Management Division’s Severe Weather
Awareness Day Exposition held at the Lake County Fair Grounds in Eustis,
Florida on Saturday, February 20, 2016.

The purpose of
Severe Weather Awareness Day is to acquaint the citizens of Lake County with
the need to prepare for severe weather events such as hurricanes,
tornadoes, floods or forest fires. The Lake

L to r, Strait Hollis KT4YA, ARRL
Northern Florida Section Emergency Coordinato; Al Richter, W4ALR, Lake County
Emergency Coordinato; and Frank Anders KK4MBX, Assistant Emergency
Coordinator for Equipment, were on hand to explain Amateur Radio’s role in disaster
communications, Lake County Severe Weather Awareness Day. (K1AYZ
photo)

County Emergency Management
Division invited various disaster relief groups to display their emergency
equipment that could be used in such events.

Along
with the LARA and Lake County ARES organizations, present were other groups
such as the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Lake Emergency Medical Service,
Lake County Fire Rescue, Southern Baptist-Disaster Relief, Salvation Army, and
the Red Cross. These groups brought had their officials available to
explain their organization’s roles. Tours were also conducted.

LARA had their communication trailer on display along with a booth where
ham volunteers explained their role in assisting professional responders
in the event of an emergency. LARA and Lake County ARES members were glad to
be included by the Lake County Emergency Management Division and be given
the opportunity to tell the general public about their roles in disaster
relief. — Ted Luebbers, K1AYZ, Lake County, Florida ARES PIO

Letters: Mass Alert Systems

Our ARES unit researched various mass notification (alert)
system vendors for a system that would work for us. After two no-cost
trials, we have gone with One Call Now, and their basic pay-as-you-go package for $90
for 1000 “credits” – each notification call or SMS text counts as 1 credit,
so our 70 member ARES group with a total of 122 contact numbers would be
122 credits per notification, giving us eight phone and SMS notifications.

For my first test, I sent Winnipeg ARES Emergency
Coordinators, AECs, PIO and two special tech savvy members (eight in total) an
alert exercise message with request to meet me on the air on a local
repeater. It didn’t work well — I only heard from one of the eight: The recipients
were leery about answering calls from 1-877 numbers. I now have the system
set up to display the “local” number for my ARES pager. For a wider
audience test of Winnipeg ARES members who knew I was looking at a mass
notification system vendor and that I was targeting a specific day for a test (a
provincial holiday in Manitoba), I used the messager to distribute a draft
exercise plan. As a result, for the actual test notification/on-air exercise
net, I heard from half of the Winnipeg ARES membership (many were away for
the long weekend).

A group leader gets a report from the
provider for each notification, and can log in and see a detailed report
of which recipients answered and when they did so. I have made my AECs and
PIO “messengers” so they each have a discrete log-in and can transmit a
notification.

This system sure beats our cumbersome,
suboptimal, time-consuming telephone tree fan-out protocol. — Jeff Dovyak ,
VE4MBQ, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada ARES

Boston Marathon Communications Committee Seeks
Amateur-Volunteers

The Boston Athletic Association
(BAA) begins its Boston Marathon volunteer communications work with the
slogan “Volunteers Run This Event.” Indeed, the Amateur Radio
community has a role in nearly every aspect from Start to Finish. Preparations are
in high gear as Amateur Radio continues to serve in this extraordinary
event — we need you! Each year around 300 communications volunteers organize,
plan, train and serve the BAA, some 30,000 runners, 10,000 volunteers, and
their communities. Registration for Amateur Radio volunteers remains open
with assignments available for new volunteers who have a passion for public
service, and for experienced hands at this longstanding event. Registration is easy and one-stop. For
more information, click here. — Brett Smith, AB1RL, BAA Communications Committee
Volunteer Coordinator

Biennial
Radiation Drill Supported by Southern Florida ARES

Every two years the St. Lucie (Florida) Nuclear Power Plant is required to
hold an exercise that is chiefly evaluated by the Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The purpose
of these exercises is to test and evaluate the responses of plant
personnel, law enforcement agencies, emergency management officials, and
communications personnel. This year, the exercise took place on February 24. The
scenario involved overloaded communication systems normally used by the public,
rendering them unusable. ARES would provide radio communications among the
county EOCs and other critical assets/support locations.

ARES teams came and participated from St. Lucie, Palm Beach, Martin,
Indian River, and Brevard counties. Operators successfully employed the UHF
repeater-based Statewide Amateur Radio Network (SARnet) for most communications as well as
an HF net on 7.245 MHz. The dual nets backed each other up for
redundancy/reliability for the ARES mission of supporting each of the EOCs.

SARnet is a network of linked UHF voice repeaters that serves the
State of Florida. The state Department of Transportation (DOT) network
that connects these amateur repeaters is a stand-alone carrier class microwave
network. The use of this dedicated bandwidth provides a network much more
likely to remain operational during a severe weather event like a
hurricane.

All ARES communications tests and requirements were
successfully passed and met, with the use of the dual nets for backup
capability being noted and praised by the evaluators. Martin County ARES also
had a display of Go-Kits that illustrated what they do upon activation. It
drew a good audience and plenty of questions from the responders. The FEMA
representative visited ARES EC Steve Marshall, WW4RX, who discussed the kits
and answered questions about SARnet and a map of its coverage and
implications for its usage.

The excellent performance of these
county ARES teams could not have been possible without the leadership and
efforts of their county ECs, their respective net control operators, all
other ARES operators and their assistants, and their respective county
Emergency Management personnel. Thanks also go to the other amateur operators who
kept the SARnet and HF frequencies clear for the duration of the exercise.
— George P. Geran, KK4AXV, Brevard County Assistant EC; Willie Thompson,
KB5FKG, Indian River County Assistant EC; Steve Marshall, WW4RX, Martin
County EC; Charles Benn, WB2SNN, Palm Beach County District EC; and Steve
Lowman, N4SGL, St. Lucie County EC

Tech Tips: Crimping Tools

A few years ago
when Powerpoles started to emerge as the standard
connector for ARES and RACES applications, it was time for me to change out
my Molex connectors. Having no initial success in finding a die set for my
Paladin CrimpALL tool, I noticed that DX
Engineering was not only selling a crimp tool, but also individual die sets
for PowerPoles, RG-8, RG8X and uninsulated and insulated wire connectors.
After an exchange of e-mails with DX Engineering staff, I ordered the
PowerPole die set. DX Engineering was not sure if it would fit my crimp tool but
offered to accept its return if it did not. Eureka — it fit perfectly as if
Greenlee manufactured it! Subsequently, I purchased the RG-8 and RG-8X die
sets for UHF and BNC connectors.

If any readers owns a
Paladin/Greenlee 8000 series CrimpALL tool, they can be safe in
ordering the dies discussed above from DX Engineering. I am in no way connected
with DX Engineering, just a satisfied customer.– Joseph Walc, W4EEI,
Asheville, North Carolina

Letters: Solar Panels

When looking at solar
panels, there are three basic technologies: Amorphous, Poly-Crystalline, and
Mono-Crystalline. Amorphous panels are common for small panels because they
are inexpensive and can be cut to any size, but they wear out more quickly
and/or not very efficient. They are usually a deep brown color. I recommend
avoiding them. Poly-Crystalline is a good technology and should be the
minimum acceptable.They are typically bluish tint and usually have a fractured
pattern. Mono-Crystalline are the best. They last a very long time and have
the best efficiency.These typically look black and usually have cells that
look like rectangles with two clipped corners. There are some flexible
panels, but their efficiency is usually not very good. For my heavy deployable
go-kit, I use a solar package similar to the USA STOCK
100 watt 12 volt Folding Solar Panel with one or two 50 Ah batteries,
depending on the circumstances. — John Bloodgood, KD0SFY, Pikes
Peak (Colorado) ARES

Maryland-DC ARES Statewide ARDF/SAR for Missing Person

The mission presented to ARRL Maryland-DC Section ARES: Find a radio
beacon and save a life. It started on Friday, February 26, when an autistic
adult was discovered missing. By Sunday, Section Manager Marty Pittinger,
KB3MXM, and SEC Jim Montgomery, WB3KAS, received an e-mail from Joe Cotton,
W3TTT, explaining the serious situation: “I was called last night by a member
of the Northwest Citizen’s
Patrol, a partner with Project Lifesaver. An autistic man was discovered missing
by his caretaker on Friday morning, two days ago.” Cotton asked Pittinger
and Montgomery if their organization had the means to locate a Project
Lifesaver radio beacon leg bracelet, issued to incapacitated adults for rapid
location, response and safe return. The local Project Lifesavers
point-of-contact in Baltimore needed help.

Pittinger, Montgomery
and Cotton, with the CEO of Project Lifesaver, coordinated action using
brief e-mail correspondence and telephone chats to define search criteria and
share technical information. Contact was also made with local law
enforcement agencies handling the missing-person case in order to set a
protocol/format for Amateur Radio operators reporting to the police departments.

ARRL Atlantic Division Director Tom Abernethy, W3TOM, was
consulted and a plan was created and coordinated to handle this rather unique
request. Section officials contacted local clubs to secure phase doppler radio
direction finder equipment, and acquired the beacon frequency, radio range, and
tone signatures. The goal was to activate the entire Maryland-DC Section’s
ARES statewide to perform a QTH-QTV (“stand guard,” or listen on
frequency) from every Amateur Radio operator’s home station to detect
the beacon and relay its location to local police. Amateur Radio mobile
assets might be needed to determine the beacon’s precise location.

Once permission to activate was secured, Section Manager
Pittinger issued an “Activation Announcement” to SEC Montgomery, who alerted and
activated all ARES members to initiate the search plan/protocol. Pittinger
then informed Project Lifesaver coordinators and police that the state-wide
ARDF search was underway.

The Maryland Port Authority
identified the missing autistic man at Baltimore Washington International
Airport, and MDC ARES was told to stand down.

Pittinger concluded “We were grateful to learn that the missing
man was located and that we were given the opportunity to assist in a
massive safety of life search.” He said “Our knowledge, experience, agility and
huge presence across Maryland and the District of Columbia show our ability
to serve multiple agencies and organizations jointly, seamlessly and
rapidly as an organized team.” — ARRL Maryland-DC Section

____________

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