Welcome to “The ARRL Letter” update from Big Island ARRL News.
Views expressed in this Amateur/Ham Radio news summary are those of the reporters and correspondents.
Content supplied by HQ ARRL, 225 Main Street, Newington, CT. 06111.
Accessed on 19 April 2019, 1745 UTC, Post 941.
Editor: Rick Lindquist (WW1ME).
Please click link or scroll down to read your selections.
ARRL Headquarters will be Closed on Friday, April 19
ARRL Headquarters will be closed on Friday, April 19. There will be no W1AW bulletin or code practice transmissions on Friday, and no edition of the ARRL Audio News podcast this week. ARRL Headquarters will reopen on Monday, April 22, at 8 AM EDT. We wish everyone a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend.
“Mentoring the Next Generation” is Hamvention and ARRL 2019 National Convention Theme
With an eye toward helping new and inexperienced hams enjoy the full range of activities that Amateur Radio has to offer, HamventionÂ® and the ARRL 2019 National Convention will embrace the theme of “Mentoring the Next Generation.” Hamvention hosts the National Convention May 17 – 19 at the Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center in Xenia, Ohio. This will mark the third year for Hamvention at its new venue. A contingent of ARRL staff and member-volunteers will join forces to make available many ARRL exhibits and resources to Hamvention visitors. The centerpiece of ARRL’s participation will be ARRL EXPO in Building 2. An extensive roster of exhibits and activitiesis available.
As part of its mentoring focus, ARRL has invited members of the Nashua (New Hampshire) Area Radio Society to Hamvention and ARRL EXPO to share the club’s effective and well-developed outreach program. The ARRL Special Service Club, which boasts more than 200 members and is being recognized as the 2019 Hamvention Club of the Year, caters to radio amateurs of all interests and experience levels. NARS will host an interactive exhibit that may serve as a model for other radio clubs to emulate as well as a Friday forum, “ARRL Spotlight on Radio Clubs and Mentoring” (11:50 AM – 1:05 PM) in Room 3. ARRL-sponsored forums will include:
For more information, see the 2019 ARRL National Convention: Exhibit & Activities Guide. Read more.
ARRL and FCC Sign Memorandum to Implement New Volunteer Monitor Program
ARRL and the FCC have signed a Memorandum of Understanding(MOU) that paves the way to implement the new and enhanced Volunteer Monitor program. The memorandum establishes the Volunteer Monitors as a replacement for the Official Observers (OO) program. Current OOs have been encouraged to participate in the new program.
“We are excited by the opportunity to codify our partnership with the FCC and to work together to achieve our mutual interests of protecting the integrity of our Amateur Radio bands,” said ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR. “This Memorandum of Understanding will serve as the foundation for a new level of partnership on this very important issue.”
ARRL has contracted with retired FCC special counsel and former Atlantic Division Vice Director Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH, to oversee the ARRL’s role in the development and implementation of the Volunteer Monitor program.
Approved by the ARRL Board of Directors at its July 2018 meeting, the new Volunteer Monitor program is a formal agreement between the FCC and ARRL in which volunteers trained and vetted by the ARRL will monitor the airwaves and collect evidence that can be used both to correct misconduct or recognize exemplary on-air operation. Cases of flagrant violations will be referred to the FCC by the ARRL for action in accordance with FCC guidelines.
The intent of this program is to re-energize enforcement efforts in the Amateur Radio bands. It was proposed by the FCC in the wake of several FCC regional office closures and a reduction in field staff.
“Under this program, the FCC will give enforcement priority to cases developed by the Volunteer Monitor program, without the delay of ARRL having to refer cases through the FCC online complaint process,” Hollingsworth said.
Hollingsworth has committed to FCC and ARRL officials to ensure the adequacy of training for the new positions, to review the quality and utility of Volunteer Monitor submissions to the FCC for enforcement actions, and to advocate for rapid disposition of cases appropriately submitted to the FCC.
ARRL officials estimate that the first Volunteer Monitors will be in place and ready to begin their duties within 6 to 9 months. Read more.
New Tech: FCC Invites Comments on Waiver Request for 24 GHz Wireless Power Transfer Device
The FCC Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) is seeking comments in ET Docket 19-83 on a request by Auspion USA, Inc. to waive the Industrial, Scientific, and Medical (ISM) rules’ “local use” requirement (FCC Part 2 and Part 18 rules) for a 24 GHz wireless power transfer device over distance. On January 3, Auspion requested a waiver of FCC rules to allow it to obtain a grant of equipment
Â§18.107(c) of the rules defines ISM devices as “[e]quipment or appliances designed to generate and use [local] RF energy for industrial, scientific, medical, domestic or similar purposes, excluding applications in the field of telecommunication.” Auspion requests that the Commission waive the “local use” condition, as specified in ISM Part 18 rules to allow its system to operate at distances greater than 1 meter between the transmitter and receivers, as long as the transmitted power is directed to very precise locations (called “power spots”) where the receivers are sited. Auspion plans to market its system exclusively for industrial, retail, and enterprise applications, such as charging industrial robots, warehouse-based drones, and smartphones in conference rooms.
Parties should file all comments and reply comments in ET Docket 19-83 using the Commission’s Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS). Comments are due by April 25, and reply comments are due by May 10.
New Episode of “So Now What?” Podcast
“All About Safety” is the focus of the new (April 18) episode of the So Now What? podcast for Amateur Radio newcomers. If you’re a newly licensed Amateur Radio operator, chances are you have lots of questions. This biweekly podcast has answers! So Now What? offers insights from those who’ve been just where you are now. New episodes will be posted every other Thursday, alternating new-episode weeks with the ARRL The Doctor is In podcast.
ARRL Communications Content Producer Michelle Patnode, W3MVP, and W1AW Station Manager Joe Carcia, NJ1Q, co-host the podcast. Presented as a lively conversation, with Patnode representing newer hams and Carcia the veteran operators, the podcast explores questions that newer hams may have and the issues that keep participants from staying active in the hobby. Some episodes will feature guests to answer questions on specific topic areas.
Listeners can find So Now What? on Apple iTunes, Blubrry, Stitcher(free registration required, or browse the site as a guest) and through the free Stitcher app for iOS, Kindle, or Android devices. Episodes will be archived on the ARRL website.
Hamvention Opening Gates to All on Final Day of 2019 Show
HamventionÂ® has announced that it will open the gates to all, without charge, on Sunday, May 19, the final day of the annual gathering at Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center in Xenia, Ohio. Hamvention 2019 General Chair Jack Gerbs, WB8SCT, said the idea is to encourage the curious to see what attracts some 30,000 visitors to Hamvention each spring.
“This will make it a little easier and cheaper for someone with just a little interest in Hamvention to see what all the excitement is about,” Gerbs said.
In addition to the features and equipment that attract radio amateurs, non-ham visitors will get to see vendors selling a variety of other electronic equipment, including computers and accessories, security devices, networking supplies, tools, and other items of interest to the general public. Those visiting the flea market area may be surprised at what’s available, often at a small fraction of its original cost.
Gerbs pointed out that Sunday is Hamvention’s lightest traffic day, making it convenient for anyone who just wants check out what’s there. Hamvention will be open on Sunday from 9 AM until 1 PM.
Greene County Sheriff Gene Fischer, KX8GCS, has arranged to make text alerts possible again this year for those wanting up-to-the-minute mobile phone alerts regarding weather, traffic, parking, and other useful information affecting the event. Text “Hamvention19” to 888777 to sign up. Those who signed up for the text alerts in 2018 already are registered for this year’s event.
The text alerts supplement the Hamvention talk-in station that has operated for many years on the Dayton Amateur Radio Association 146.94 repeater (123.0 Hz tone) to give directions and other assistance. Read more.
Registration Opens for USA ARDF Championships
Registration is now open for the 2019 USA and IARU Region 2 Championships of Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF), set for August 1 – 4. Competition venues will be near Raleigh, North Carolina.
“The USA ARDF Championships are an ideal opportunity to watch and
Thursday, August 1, will be devoted to the foxoring championship. Foxoring is a combination of radio direction finding and classic orienteering. Friday morning will be the sprint, a short course with 12-second fox transmissions instead of the usual 60 seconds each, 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. An awards banquet on Saturday evening will include presentation of medals for foxoring, sprint, and 2-meter classic events; awards for 80-meter classic will be given out on Sunday afternoon immediately after the competition.
The USA ARDF Championships are open to anyone who can safely navigate the woods by themselves. A ham radio license is not required. Each participant competes as an individual — any teamwork or GPS use is forbidden.
Information bulletin #2 contains the complete schedule, technical details, lodging, T-shirts, fees, rule variations, and more. Bulletins and links for online registration are on the event web page on the BOK site. An email reflector is available for Q&A with the organizers as well as for coordinating transportation and arranging equipment loans.
Just Ahead in Radiosport
The K7RA Solar Update
Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, reports: New sunspot group 2739 appeared on April 17, and the daily sunspot number rose to 24. The new sunspot’s polarity indicates that it’s still part of Cycle 24, the current sunspot cycle. This reporting week (April 11 – 17) the average daily sunspot number rose from 6.9 to 14, while average daily solar flux increased from 75.4 to 76.4.
Geomagnetic indicators were quieter, with the average planetary A index declining from 10.6 to 6.4.
Predicted planetary A index is 5 on April 18 – 26; 10, 8, and 5 on April 27 – 29; 10 on April 30 – May 2; 7, 5, and 13 on May 3 – 5; 10, 14, and 7 on May 6 – 8; 8 on May 9 – 10; 5 on May 11 – 20; 10, 8, and 5 on May 21 – 23; 10, 8, and 5 on May 24 – 26; 10 on May 27 – 29, and 7, 5, and 13 on May 30 – June 1.
Jon, N0JK, reports that summer sporadic-E season began on April 14, when he copied K2PL and KE3QZ in Kansas on 6 meters.
Sunspot numbers for April 11 – 17 were 13, 14, 14, 11, 11, 11, and 24, with a mean of 14. The 10.7-centimeter flux was 78.5, 77.3, 77.9, 75.4, 75.4, 74.2, and 76.1, with a mean of 76.4. Estimated planetary A indices were 7, 9, 8, 4, 8, 6, and 3, with a mean of 6.4. Middle latitude A index was 6, 7, 7, 3, 8, 6, and 3, with a mean of 5.7.
A comprehensive K7RA Solar Update is posted Fridays on the ARRL website. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the ARRL Technical Information Service, read “What the Numbers Mean…,” and check out K9LA’s Propagation Page.
Share your reports and observations.
ARRL Foundation Announces Dick Hanna, K3VYY, Memorial Scholarship
The ARRL Foundation has announced the Dick Hanna, K3VYY, Memorial Scholarship. Created through the generosity of the Hanna Family in memory of J. Richard “Dick” Hanna, K3VYY, of Beaver Falls,
The applicant must:
The grant will be $1,000 annually, with the first scholarship expected to be awarded in 2020. The ARRL Foundation Board of Directors will disperse the scholarship funds to the recipient’s school of choice. Scholarships are for the exclusive use of the recipient.
Hanna was first licensed in 1962 as KN3SVL. He died in 2017. Survivors include his wife Pamela, WB3BHJ, and sons Doug, N4YKQ, and Brian, KF7ORO.
Astronaut and Pioneer for Amateur Radio in Space Owen Garriott, W5LFL, SK
Owen K. Garriott, W5LFL, the US astronaut who pioneered the use of Amateur Radio to make contacts from space, died April 15 at his home in Huntsville, Alabama. He was 88. Garriott’s ham radio activity ushered in the formal establishment of Amateur Radio in space, first as SAREX (the Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment), and later as ARISS(Amateur Radio on the International Space Station).
Garriott, an Oklahoma native, thrilled radio amateurs around the world by making the first contacts from space during 10 days aboard Spacelab-1 during a 1983 Space Shuttle Columbia mission. Thousands of hams listened on 2-meter FM, hoping to hear him or to make a contact. Garriott ended up contacting stations around the globe, among them such notables as the late King Hussein, JY1, of Jordan, and the late US Senator Barry Goldwater, K7UGA.
“I managed to do it in my off-duty hours, and it was a pleasure to get involved in it and to talk with people who are as interested in space as the 100,000 hams on the ground seemed to be,” Garriott recounted during an interview published in the February 1984 edition of QST.
Garriott simply used a handheld transceiver with its antenna in the window of Spacelab-1. His first pass was down the US West Coast.
“[A]s I approached the US, I began to hear stations that were trying to reach me,” he told QST. “On my very first CQ, there were plenty of stations responding.” His first contact was with Lance Collister, WA1JXN, in Montana.
Garriott shared a Hamvention Special Achievement Award in 2002 with fellow Amateur Radio astronaut Tony England, W0ORE. His son, Richard Garriott, W5KWQ, was a private space traveler to the ISS, flown there by the Russian Federal Space Agency, and he also carried ham radio into space.
Getting It Right
The item “FCC Agrees to 90-Day Pause in Consideration of WT Docket 16-239” in the April 11 edition of The ARRL Letter contained an error. It should have said, “The Commission’s proposed changes differed from the ARRL’s initial filing and caused ARRL to be concerned about possible interference to current users resulting from the deletion of ARRL’s requested 2.8 kHz bandwidth limitation.”
Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions
Find conventions and hamfests in your area.
Free of charge to ARRL members…
The ARRL Letter
The ARRL Letter offers a weekly summary of essential news of interest to active amateurs that is available in advance of publication in QST, our official journal. The ARRL Letterstrives to be timely, accurate, concise and readable.
Much of the ARRL Letter content is also available in audio form in ARRL Audio News.
Material from The ARRL Letter may be republished or reproduced in whole or in part in any form without additional permission. Credit must be given to The ARRL Letter and The American Radio Relay League.
Back issues published since 2000 are available on this page. If you wish to subscribe via e-mail, simply log on to the ARRL Web site, click on Edit Your Profile at the top, then click on Edit Email Subscriptions. Check the box next to The ARRL email newsletter, the ARRL Letter and you will receive each weekly issue in HTML format. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Delivery problems (ARRL member direct delivery only!): firstname.lastname@example.org
Editorial questions or comments: Rick Lindquist, WW1ME, at email@example.com.
The ARRL E-Letter e-mail is also available in plain-text version:
1. From the Inbox view, select the Tools menu and the Options selection.
2. Click the Read tab
3. Check the Read All Messages In Plain Text box. When you open the e-mail, it will be in plain text without images. Other e-mail programs may be able to make a Mail Rule for e-mail received from the address firstname.lastname@example.org so that the plain-text-only display is selected automatically.
Use the same procedure as for Outlook Express, although the global option is under “Tools/Trust Center/E-mail Security”.
Use the menu item “View/Message Body As/Plain Text” or “View/Message Source” options.
OS X Mail (Mac)
Use the “View/Message/Plain Text Alternative” menu item.
Use the “Message text garbled?” link in the drop-down menu at the upper right of the displayed message block. pine, alpine Set “prefer-plain-text” in your ~/.pinerc configuration file: feature-list=…, prefer-plain-text, …