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 24 May 2019, 1530 UTC, Post 981.
Editor: Rick Lindquist (WW1ME).
Please scroll down to read the full edition of “The ARRL Letter”:
The ARRL Letter will not publish on Thursday, May 30, and there will be no edition of ARRL Audio News on Friday, May 31. The ARRL Letter will return on June 6.
Dayton Hamvention Attracts a Happy Crowd
Dayton Hamvention®, hosting the 2019 ARRL National Convention, chalked up its third year at its new venue, the Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center in Xenia, Ohio. Amateur Radio’s largest annual gathering took place May 17 – 19. Hamvention officials have not yet released a 2019 attendance figure, but last year’s show drew 28,417 — the third largest attendance ever. For many hams, Hamvention offers an opportunity each spring to renew old acquaintances and make new ones, and for manufacturers to debut their latest and greatest gear.
Hamvention visitors enjoyed largely comfortable weather, with some drizzle on opening day. By all accounts, the crowd was animated and amiable. This year marked the first that Hamvention offered free Sunday admission.
“Dayton Hamvention 2019 was a fantastic event and was a great setting for the ARRL National Convention,” said ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR. “Thank you to everyone for stopping by the ARRL exhibit area to visit with ARRL officials, staff, and volunteers. It’s always a pleasure to be able to have a face-to-face QSO with everyone. Isn’t ham radio great? The greatest hobby in the world!”
A free ARRL/Dayton Hamvention mobile event app helped visitors navigate the landscape of exhibitors and forums. Attendees also used the app to follow the hourly prize drawings, connect with other visitors, and view maps of the sprawling fairgrounds. The new app got a positive reception.
The Nashua (New Hampshire) Area Radio Society (NARS) — the 2019 Dayton Hamvention Club of the Year — led the “ARRL Spotlight on Radio Clubs and Mentoring” forum. NARS members described the ways the club builds and maintains a strong and active membership through its website, licensing classes, and programs that fit members’ schedules. The success rate for licensing classes is 93%, and the club retains 70% of active members. Instructors from the ARRL Education & Technology Program shared resources available for introducing radio science and wireless technology.
In step with the shared ARRL Convention-Hamvention theme, “Mentoring the Next Generation,” the 2019 Youth Forum moderated by Carole Perry, WB2MGP, drew attendees of all ages.
It was standing room only at Saturday’s ARRL Member Forum, which featured a panel of ARRL Board members with ARRL Great Lakes Division Director Dale Williams, WA8EFK, moderating. Pacific Division Director Jim Tiemstra, K6JAT, who chairs the Legislative Advocacy Committee, addressed the Board’s decision to hit the pause button on the Amateur Radio Parity Act. He said the Board intends to renew efforts to get a bill passed and will craft a new strategy to make that happen.
President Roderick and CEO Howard Michel, WB2ITX, stressed the need to attract more Technician licensees into ARRL. Roderick challenged forum attendees to make sure their clubs are welcoming newcomers and helping them to get active and engaged as radio amateurs. At Michel’s “Engaging Today’s Radio Amateur” presentation, audience members expressed support for the new directions Michel is taking ARRL in terms of delivering more value to members.
Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH, headed up a Sunday forum on ARRL’s new Volunteer Monitor Program. Hollingsworth explained how the program evolved out of an FCC request. Hollingsworth explained that he polled FCC District Directors to see which areas of the US needed the most attention. He said that’s where most Volunteer Monitors will be deployed.
ARRL’s Public Service Communications Panel Discussion drew a large crowd of Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) members and other active volunteers.
Audience members expressed constructive concerns over the new ARES Plan and with reinforcing Amateur Radio recognition nationwide.
“ARRL’s big team included 118 members supporting exhibits, activities, and presentations to help all radio amateurs become more active, involved, and engaged,” Inderbitzen said. “Together we helped represent the very best of our Amateur Radio Service and ARRL.”
At a Thursday Donors’ Reception, President Roderick presented the National Convention recognition award to Hamvention Chairman Jack Gerbs, WB8SCT, and Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA) President (and past Hamvention General Chair) Ron Cramer, KD8ENJ.
Springtime Section Manager Election Results Announced
In the only contested Section Manager election this spring, ARRL members in Utah have re-elected Mel Parkes, NM7P, as Section Manager for a new 2-year term of office that starts on July 1. Parkes, of Layton, received 481 votes; his opponent, Pat Malan, N7PAT, of South Jordan, received 233 votes. Parkes has served as Section Manager since 1999. Ballots were counted and verified at ARRL Headquarters on May 21.
Steve Ostrove, K2SO, of Elizabeth, New Jersey, will become the Northern New Jersey Section Manager once again in July. Ostrove previously served as Section Manager from 2016 until 2017. Northern New Jersey SM Rob Roschewsk, KA2PBT, decided not to run for a new term after serving for the past 2 years.
Several incumbent Section Managers faced no opposition and were declared re-elected to new terms starting on July 1: Marty Pittinger, KB3MXM (Maryland-DC); John Bigley, N7UR (Nevada); Bob Beaudet, W1YRC (Rhode Island); Dan Pruitt, AE6SX (San Joaquin Valley), and Dale Durham, W5WI (West Texas).
Magnetic Loop Antenna Designs Multiply
Magnetic loops have become popular as effective and compact antennas for traveling and stealth applications. An HF magnetic loop design by John Chappell, W3HX, was an honorable mention in the 2018 QSTAntenna Design Competition. Chappell’s mag loop offers coverage on 80 – 20 meters, and he runs FT8 at 50 W. See his article on page 39 of the June 2019 issue of QST.
Richard Robbins, WA8RR, wanted to build one of his own for 40 and 20 meters, and he described his efforts in a recent edition of his club’s newsletter, DELARA News. An online calculator helped him come up with the basics, and he decided on a 10-foot circumference loop constructed from half-inch copper pipe that would handle 100 W. His prototype, constructed from a piece of pipe “hand bent into an approximate circle,” a Dayton Hamvention flea market capacitor, and a coax drive loop, would tune the two bands — although, as expected, tuning was very sensitive and affected by body capacitance.
He worked up a reduction drive and remote motorized tuning, and was able to make several FT8 contacts, using his antenna analyzer to tune the loop. “The tuning would shift as I was transmitting,” Robbins recounted. “This is a result of a very high circulating current and heating of the separate components.” Encouraged, he went for a
“To drive the capacitor, I obtained a stepper motor and driver, an Arduino controller board, and a four-channel remote,” Robbins explained. “I used some sample programs to develop the code that would move the capacitor at different speeds depending on how long the remote was pressed. I added markings on the capacitor, so I could quickly move to different bands.” — Thanks to DELARA News
The Doctor Will See You Now!
“Do Dipoles Have to be Straight?” is the topic of the current (May 9) episode of the ARRL The Doctor is In podcast. Listen…and learn!
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
FCC Re-Charters Technological Advisory Council for New Term
The FCC has re-chartered its Technological Advisory Council (TAC) for a 2-year term. Comprised of a diverse group of leading technology experts, the TAC provides technical expertise to the FCC to identify important areas of innovation and develop informed technology
Greg Lapin, N9GL, will continue to represent ARRL on the TAC.
“The TAC will consider and advise the Commission on a variety of topics such as the deployment of 5G technology, the evolution of broadband networks and devices and their implications, the spectrum needs of unmanned aircraft systems, new developments in antenna technology, and the applications of artificial intelligence to telecommunications networks,” the FCC said in announcing the re-charter.
Dennis Roberson, Executive Chairman of entigenlogicTM, chairs the Council. Michael Ha, Deputy Chief of the FCC Policy and Rules Division, is the Designated Federal Officer.
The TAC will next meet on June 21. The public is welcome. The FCC Public Notice includes the names of all TAC members, some of whom are radio amateurs. — FCC Public Notice
The K7RA Solar Update
Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, reports: May 18 was the last day we saw sunspot activity, after more than 2 weeks with sunspots visible daily. The average daily sunspot number declined to 5.3 this week from 22.7 the previous week. Average daily solar flux declined from 75.7 to 69.8. Geomagnetic conditions were quieter, with the average daily planetary A index declining from 13 to 5.
Predicted planetary A index is 5 on May 23 – 24; 8 on May 25; 5 on May 26 – 27; 10; 8; 8 and 10 on May 28 – 31; 5 on June 1 – 15; 8 on June 16 – 18; 5 on June 19 – 23; 10, 12, 8, and 10 on June 24 – 27, and 5 on June 28 – July 6.
On May 20, Markus Hansen, VE7CA, wrote to say he’s been hearing many 10-meter beacons from California, and one from Utah.
Sunspot numbers for May 16 – 22 were 13, 13, 11, 0, 0, 0, and 0, with a mean of 5.3. The 10.7-centimeter flux was 73.6, 72.1, 70.6, 68, 68.7, 68, and 67.3, with a mean of 69.8. Estimated planetary A index was8, 5, 5, 3, 6, 4, and 4, with a mean of 5. The mid-latitude A index was 9, 7, 8, 3, 7, 4, and 5, with a mean of 6.1.
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
June Event in Europe to Assess Activity, Ability to Share Spectrum on 6 Meters
The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) has thrown its support behind an upcoming operating event on 6 meters aimed at assessing activity on 6 meters and the ability of Amateur Radio to share spectrum with government users on the band. The worldwide Amateur Radio community is invited to participate in the Czech-sponsored Pohotovostní (readiness) Test — or “P-Test” — which will take place on June 13. Agenda Item 1.1 for World Radiocommunication Conference 2019 (WRC-19) will consider an Amateur Service allocation in the 50 – 54 MHz band in Region 1 (Europe, Africa, Asiatic Russia), taking into account studies looking into sharing between the Amateur Service and the mobile, fixed, radiolocation, and broadcasting services, “in order to ensure protection of these services.”
“The purpose of this event is to show regulators that amateurs and military stations can coexist without causing harmful interference to each other,” said an IARU Region 1 news article by Hans Blondeel Timmerman, PB2T.
The June 13 event will take place in two activity periods: The first will run from 0730 until 0900 UTC, and the second will take place from 1100 to 1230 UTC. Participating stations will call “CQ P (Contest)” and exchange signal reports, a sequential serial number, a six-character grid locator, and a geographical location.
“We would like to involve amateur stations experimenting with wideband modes in this test,” the IARU news article said. This could include reduced-bandwidth digital television or other wide-band emissions. Such stations would participate in the second activity period. Read more.
CQ Announces 2019 Hall of Fame Inductees
CQ Magazine over the weekend announced the 2019 inductees to its Amateur Radio, DX, and Contest halls of fame.
The CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame added 5 new members for 2019, making a total of 326 inductees since its establishment in 2001. The CQAmateur Radio Hall of Fame honors radio amateurs who have made significant contributions “to Amateur Radio, to their professional careers or to some other aspect of life on our planet.” The 2019 inductees are:
John Attaway, Sr., K4IIF (SK); Dave Bernstein, AA6YQ; Doreen Bogdan-Martin, KD2JTX; Predescu Florin Cristian, YO0CNU, and Ellen White, W1YL.
The 2019 inductees to the CQ DX Hall of Fame are: Joe Taylor, K1JT, and Silvano Borsa, I2YSB, and the Italian DXpedition Team.
The CQ DX Hall of Fame was established in 1967 to recognize those amateurs who have made major contributions to DXing and DXpeditioning. This weekend marked the 54th annual induction.
CQ magazine inducted three new members into the CQ Contest Hall of Fame, which honors contesters who stand out in their own contesting performance while also contributing greatly to the avocation as a whole. CQ Contesting Editor David Siddall, K3ZJ, presented Hall of Fame plaques at an induction ceremony held at the annual Dayton Contest Dinner on May 18.
The 2019 inductees to the CQ Contest Hall of Fame are: Bruce Horn, WA7BNM, and Dean Straw, N6BV, and Kresimir “Chris” Kovarik, 9A5K (SK).
The CQ Contest Hall of Fame was established in 1986 to recognize those amateurs who have made major contributions to the art of radio contesting. This year’s inductions bring the total number of members of the CQ Contest Hall of Fame to 74. Read more.
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!): email@example.com
Editorial questions or comments: Rick Lindquist, WW1ME, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com 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, …
Hawaii Island Amateur/Ham Radio News:
Hawaii Island radio amateurs are encouraged to sign up for the new ARRL EMCOMM Course (EC-001). According to ARRL Pacific Section Manager Joseph Speroni (AH0A), “The ARRL has restructured its EmComm program to address the practical aspects of radio communications as well as the skills needed to better serve local communities in emergencies…the new EC-001 course addresses Hawaii’s situation as an island state.” To register for the course, please contact Pacific Section Emergency Coordinator Clem Jung (KH7HO), who will handle student registrations. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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