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 provided by HQ ARRL, 225 Main Street, Newington, CT, 06111.
Accessed on 03 May 2019, 0230 UTC, Post 957.
Editor: Rick Lindquist (WW1ME)
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ARRL Reply Comments Stress Need to Update Technician Privileges in a Digital World
In reply comments to the FCC (comments on comments already filed) on its Petition for Rule Making (RM-11828), ARRL has stressed that updating HF privileges for the entry-level Technician license “is the sole subject and intent” of the petition. ARRL filed its reply comments on April 29, urging the FCC to disregard comments irrelevant to its petition and maintaining that Technician privileges must be relevant within the context of today’s technological environment.
“If adopted, there would be no change to the operating privileges for all license classes other than those of the Technician class,” ARRL said. In 2018, ARRL asked the FCC to expand HF privileges for Technician licensees to include limited phone privileges on 75, 40, and 15 meters, plus RTTY and digital mode privileges on 80, 40, and 15 meters. The FCC invited comments on the proposal in April.
ARRL pointed out that some comments filed on its petition address subjects related to other open proceedings rather than expanding Technician privileges, citing comments cross-filed in such proceedings as WT Docket 16-239, RM-11708, RM-11759, and RM-11831. “Those filings should be considered in the proceedings that they address, rather than here,” ARRL said.
ARRL said some opposition appears based on fears of increased interference potential due to additional digital operation by Technicians. “It is improbable that all, or even a majority, of Technician licensees suddenly would develop a passion for the same digital technology,” ARRL said. “Our hope and expectation is that many will engage with digital modes on the high-frequency spectrum at issue, but it is unrealistic to suggest that every Technician licensee blessed with new privileges would suddenly appear on the same band.”
ARRL further said that comments regarding disagreement on the definition of encryption for masking the content of certain digital transmissions are also “out of place in this proceeding” and “should not delay initiation of a proceeding” proposing to update Technician privileges.
“Technology has changed dramatically in the Amateur Radio domain, and ARRL believes the requested Technician license enhancement would foster the regulatory goals for the Amateur Service and continue to increase amateurs’ historical experimentation and service in a meaningful way,” ARRL concluded.
World Scout Jamboree Gearing Up for Significant Amateur Radio Presence
Amateur Radio will be a part of this summer’s 24th World Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, the first World Jamboree held in North America since 1983. The Jamboree has chosen the theme “Unlock a New World.” Thousands of Scouts and Scout leaders from some 200 countries are expected to attend. The Jamboree’s Amateur Radio Exhibit will use the call sign NA1WJ — North America’s 1st World Jamboree. It will be on the air during the event, July 22 until August 2, at the Summit Bechtel Reserve, hosted by Canada, Mexico, and the US. Amateur Radio testing is expected to begin as early as July 14. Operating frequencies will be posted in real time via Facebook and Twitter or via an NA1WJ email group.
“We also expect to launch one or two balloons with Amateur Radio payloads and track them as they cross the Atlantic,” the vision document continues.
Organizers are encouraging radio amateurs around the globe to get on the air during the World Jamboree to help NA1WJ demonstrate Amateur Radio for Jamboree visitors.
The 2019 World Scout Jamboree operation at the Summit Bechtel Scout Reserve will take advantage of lessons learned by the K2BSA Amateur Radio operation during the 2013 and 2017 USA National Jamborees. It will also take advantage of the existing infrastructure, which includes three VHF/UHF repeaters installed by Icom America, as well as the utility poles for installing antennas. K2BSA ham gear stored in West Virginia includes antennas, rotators, and cables.
Evening operation from NA1WJ will involve at least two operators using the buddy system. VHF/UHF repeaters will offer full coverage of the Jamboree area via handheld transceivers, facilitating networking as well as emergency communication. The exhibit will include an Amateur Radio station with the special event call sign W8J.
Each station will be able to accommodate four participants at a time, plus one control operator. The goal is to give each participant up to about 10 minutes of operating time.
The K2BSA Amateur Radio Association will host a “Radio Scouting” booth at Dayton Hamvention® (Booth 2205 in Building 2).
Science and Technology: An Ultra-Small Transmitter for VLF?
A study, “A high Q piezoelectric resonator as a portable VLF transmitter,” by Stanford University SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory researcher Mark A. Kemp et al., in the April 12, 2019, edition of Nature Communications describes using a small rod of lithium niobate and taking advantage of the material’s piezoelectric properties to convert an imposed voltage to a mechanical effect, which in turn radiates an electromagnetic current.
“Our device is also hundreds of times more efficient and can transmit data faster than previous devices of comparable size,” Kemp, the project’s principal investigator. “Its performance pushes the limits of what’s technologically possible and puts portable VLF applications, like sending short text messages in challenging situations, within reach.”
The paper by Kemp et al. points to the fact that large size and high loss render conventional transmitter techniques inadequate. “We show that a strain-based, piezoelectric transmitter can overcome many of the fundamental limitations of conventional electrically small antennas (ESA),” the paper’s abstract reads. “These transmitters can resonate in a very small footprint while exhibiting low losses.”
Taking a deeper dive: “Traditionally, a disadvantage of passive high-Q antennas was low bandwidth. Utilizing piezoelectricity as the radiating element allows us to dynamically shift the transmitter resonant frequency. Therefore, high total Q (low loss) no longer constrains the system bandwidth. These are our fundamental advancements: Achieving an exceptionally high system Q with no external impedance matching network and an effective fractional bandwidth beyond the passive Bode-Fano limit. Although demonstrated at VLF, this concept straightforwardly scales to other frequency bands.”
So Now What? Podcast
“Finding the Right Club for You” is the focus of the new (May 2) 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 ARRL 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 will explore 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.
ARRL’s Free Exam Review for Ham Radio Updated
ARRL Exam Review for Ham Radio
The update to Exam Review and the new edition General Class License Manual coincides with a new General Class question pool released earlier this year by the National Conference of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (NCVEC). The new 2019 – 2023 General Class question pool becomes effective on July 1, 2019 for examinations in the Amateur Radio Service. The 2015 – 2019 General Class pool remains in effect for exams given until June 30, 2019. ARRL Exam Review provides access to both the current and new General Class questions. (Read more.)
The K7RA Solar Update
Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, reports: No sunspots were visible over the April 25 – May 1 reporting week, and so the average daily sunspot number dropped to zero after sitting at 8.1 during the previous 7 days. Average daily solar flux declined from 70.6 to 67.5. Geomagnetic indicators were quiet, with average planetary A index at 5.9, up from 4.7 in the previous week.
Predicted planetary A index is 15 and 10 on May 2 – 3; 5 on May 4 – 9; 8 on May 10; 5 on May 11 – 19; 8 on May 20; 5 on May 21 – 26; 10, 14, 12, 8, and 5 on May 27 – 31; 10, 12, and 14 on June 1 – 3; 8 on June 4 – 6, and 5 on June 7 – 15.
The New Yorker recently ran an article about aurora borealis tourism.
Sunspot numbers for April 25 – May 1, 2019 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, and 0, with a mean of 0. The 10.7-centimeter flux was 67.5, 67.2, 66.9, 67.9, 66.9, 68.5, and 67.6, with a mean of 67.5. Estimated planetary A indices were 5, 4, 6, 5, 5, 5, and 11, with a mean of 5.9. Middle latitude A index was 4, 2, 5, 4, 6, 4, and 8, with a mean of 4.7.
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.
Just Ahead in Radiosport
HamSCI, Ham Radio 2.0 to Combine Efforts at Dayton Hamvention 2019
Thanks to support from the Yasme Foundation, the citizen science organization HamSCI and Ham Radio 2.0 will share space and combine efforts at Dayton Hamvention® 2019, which
The Ham Radio 2.0 area will serve to host a series of “booth talks” both by HamSCI presenters and presenters with a “2-point-0” perspective on operating and technology that looks to the future of ham radio. Presentations begin at 10 AM on Friday and continue through 3 PM on Saturday.
In addition to the presentations, the Ham Radio 2.0 area will be home
HamSCI also will offer the HamSCI Forum Saturday, 9:15 – 10:30 AM (Forum Room 4).
Full details are on the HamSCI website.
Annual Armed Forces Day Crossband Test Set for May 11
The Army Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) will host the traditional military/Amateur Radio communication tests to mark the 68th annual Armed Forces Day (AFD) on Saturday, May 11. The event is open to all radio amateurs. Armed Forces Day is May 18, but the AFD Crossband Military-Amateur Radio event traditionally takes place 1 week earlier in order to avoid conflicting with Dayton Hamvention®. Complete information, including military stations, modes, and frequencies, is available on the US Army MARS website.
During the event, military stations in various locations will transmit on selected military frequencies and announce the specific ham frequencies they are monitoring.
Military stations expected to be on the air for the event include those in Arizona, Japan, Hawaii, Okinawa, Washington, DC (and elsewhere in the contiguous states), the USS Midway, the USS Yorktown, the USS Iowa, LST-325, the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, and the Newport Naval Radio Station Museum in Rhode Island. The MARSCOMM and MARSRADIO nationwide networks will have multiple stations on the air across the continental US.
An AFD message will be transmitted utilizing the Military Standard (MIL-STD) serial PSK waveform (M110) followed by MIL-STD Wide Shift FSK (850 Hz RTTY), as described in MIL-STD 188-110A/B.Technical information is available. The AFD message will also be sent in CW and RTTY, as indicated on the full schedule. Anyone wanting a QSL should complete the request form on the MARS website.
Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions
Find conventions and hamfests in your area.
Hawaii Island Amateur/Ham Radio News:
The next meeting of the Big Island Amateur Radio Club will be held Saturday, 11 May 2019, 1400 HST, at the Keaau Community Center in Keaau, Hawaii Island.
Aloha from Barbara (NH7FY) and Dean (KH6B). The Friday BIARC lunch meeting will be held at the Ponds Restaurant in Hilo, 11:30 HST. If you plan to attend, please call Barbara at 936-3377 to be included in the reservation. All Hawaii Island radio amateurs are invited to the Saturday morning breakfast (0800 HST) at the IHOP Restaurant at the Prince Kuhio Plaza in Hilo.
All Hawaii Island radio amateurs are invited to register for the new ARRL EMCOMM Course (EC-001) which begins in June. To register, contact Clem Jung (KH6HO) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Doug Wilson (KH7DQ) has scheduled two more free Technician License Classes on Hawaii Island: 23 May 2019 in Waimea (location TBA) and 17 October 2019 at the Keaau Community Center in Keeau, Hawaii Island. For details, contact Doug at douscelle @aol.com.
For the latest Amateur/Ham Radio news and information, please check the blog sidebars and links. These news feeds are updated daily and weekly. Thanks for joining us today.
Aloha es 73 de Russell Roberts (KH6JRM)
Public Information Coordinator
Hawaii County, ARRL Pacific Section