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June 25, 2020
Editor: Rick Lindquist, WW1ME
ARRL to Hold 2021 National Convention at Orlando HamCation®
ARRL has announced that Orlando HamCation® will host the 2021 ARRL National Convention in Orlando, Florida, February 11 – 14. The convention will mark the 75th anniversary of HamCation — one of the largest annual ham radio gatherings. The convention theme, “reDiscover Radio,” is a rallying call for radio amateurs committed to developing knowledge and skills in radio technology and radio communication.
The convention will kick off on Thursday, February 11, with a series of day-long ARRL Training Tracks and a National Convention luncheon at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Orlando at SeaWorld. A complete
HamCation is sponsored by the Orlando Amateur Radio Club (OARC), an ARRL-affiliated club. OARC is supported by volunteers from radio clubs throughout the region. This year, an estimated 24,200 people attended all 3 days of the event.
Details on tickets and information about forums, exhibits (including information for vendors and tailgaters), testing, travel, and preferred hotels with special rates are on the HamCation website.
Rescued Radio Amateur Says, “Ham Radio Saved My Life”
Alden Sumner Jones IV, KC1JWR, of Bennington, Vermont, is thankful for amateur radio, after he suffered a medical incident and lost consciousness on June 15 while hiking with others along a remote section of the Long Trail, not far from his home. An EMT from Appalachian Mountain Rescue (AMR), who was hiking nearby, saw Jones pass out, but was unable to connect with 911 via his cell phone. Jones, 41, regained consciousness and was successful in contacting Ron Wonderlick, AG1W, via the Northern Berkshire Amateur Radio Club’s K1FFK repeater on Mount Greylock. Wonderlick initiated what turned into an 8-hour effort to get Jones off the trail and to a medical facility, acting as a relay among Jones, emergency crews, and other agencies involved. As the Bennington Post reported, “The Vermont State Police also received assistance from several licensed amateur radio operators who helped facilitate communications, greatly assisting in the rescue.”
Matthew Sacco, KC1JPU, headed to a staging area where rescue crews were gathering. When he could not make it into the repeater, he employed some ham radio ingenuity to fashion a J-pole antenna from some window line he had on hand, casting it into a tree using a fishing pole. That did the trick. An individual on site was able to obtain an accurate location for Jones using the GPS on his cell phone.
After it was determined that rescuers could not reach Jones using an all-terrain vehicle, arrangements were made to have a search-and-rescue crew from New York retrieve Jones by helicopter. Amateur radio participants were able to relay critical information, including an accurate location, as preparations continued.
Jones, meanwhile, took advantage of his time with the EMT and other rescuers to talk up amateur radio and explain how to get licensed. According to one account, rescuers were having trouble making contact with the helicopter, so Jones loaned them a better antenna he happened to have.
Jones was eventually flown to a hospital in Albany, New York, again taking advantage of the occasion to promote amateur radio to the helicopter pilot and crew. Jones is said to be recovering.
ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, Issues Field Day 2020 Statement
ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, has released a statement in advance of ARRL Field Day 2020.
Dear ARRL Members,
Although points are awarded, the underlying purpose of Field Day is to demonstrate the versatility and reliability of radio amateurs under simulated emergency conditions. For some of you, especially new licensees, this may be the first time you’ve established your own home station or portable radio communications capability. Let’s use this opportunity to show our friends, families, and community leaders that
In addition to operating, please take a few minutes to document your station with pictures, or even offer to host a videoconference and give virtual tours. Social media is the way most people are discovering amateur radio these days, so post your photos and videos to the social media pages hosted by your clubs and ARRL.
Finally, please use the hashtag #ARRLFD along with community hashtags to get the word out that we are enjoying an amazing hobby that is also a public service. Field Day is the largest gathering of communicators on the face of the earth. Let’s show the world what amateur radio can do!
On behalf of ARRL board members and staff, have a fun and safe ARRL Field Day.
ARRL Podcasts Schedule
Balloon Launched by Popular Web Show Host Completes Third Round Trip
A balloon launched on May 20 by “Amateur Radio Roundtable” web show host Tom Medlin, W5KUB, and his team has begun its third circumnavigation of Earth. The balloon, at 43,000 – 45,000 feet, completed its second trip around the globe on June 19. It crossed the
Identified as W5KUB-18, the balloon carries APRS and WSPR amateur radio payloads. By the morning of June 25, it was above China, moving at more than 100 MPH.
According to the balloon website, the mission and goal are to launch a high-altitude balloon for long-duration and multiple trips around the world. The balloon, an SBS-13, is capable of flying up to 45,000 feet. “It will be filled with hydrogen to obtain higher altitude,” the website explains. “It will be solar powered only (no batteries, so it will only transmit during daylight). We will receive tracking every 10 minutes via WSPR on HF [14.0971 MHz].” Tracking transmissions will be turned off over the UK, Yemen, and North Korea due to regulations. The tracking transmitter runs just 10 mW, but it’s being heard as far away as 9,000 miles, Medlin told ARRL.
“The entire tracker with GPS and processor is only 2 grams,” Medlin said. “That’s about the weight of a penny. The entire payload is only 15 grams total.” The current effort is the group’s ninth attempt to circumnavigate the globe.
Medlin says the balloon project has broadened his horizons. “You have to do a lot of specific engineering and measurements down to the 0.1 gram to fly one,” he told ARRL. “You also become a weatherman, watching all the NOAA websites, winds at different altitudes, storms, etc. Storms will bring you down,” Medlin said. With the float altitude set at 44,000 feet, he expects to be able to fly above most storms. “You also become very well-versed in geography as it flies,” he added.
Medlin’s livestreamed “Amateur Radio Roundtable” goes live on Tuesdays at 9 PM Eastern Time and accepts calls from viewers. He has operated a live cam at Dayton Hamvention® for several years. Read more.
ARISS Volunteer Tony Hutchison, VK5ZAI, Named Member of the Order of Australia
Veteran Amateur Radio on the International Radio Station (ARISS) volunteer Tony Hutchison, VK5ZAI, has been honored as a Member of the Order of Australia in Queen Elizabeth’s Birthday Honours List. Hutchison was recognized “For significant service to amateur radio, particularly to satellite and space communication.” The Australian Government’s Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet noted
Hutchison’s station has served as the ham radio contact point for ISS crew members to speak with schools and groups on Earth via ham radio, when a contact location is not within the footprint of an ISS pass. The students connect via a teleconference line from their school to the telebridge station, and then with the astronaut through ham radio.
Hutchison provided communication support for contacts with Australian astronaut Andy Thomas, VK5JAT/VK5MIR, during Thomas’s tour on the Russian Mir space station, and he enabled the first school contact with Mir in 1993. As part of ARISS, he helped 65 schools prepare for ARISS contacts and used his telebridge station for 58 ARISS contacts throughout the world. He is a member of AMSAT-VK.
“Tony’s been an ARISS mentor for years, and was lead of Australia’s mentors,” ARISS-International Secretary Rosalie White, K1STO, said. “He enjoyed talking to the Mir crews long before.” White said that Hutchison, who is in his early 80s, remains involved in the ARISS program.
“Although I received the honour, I would like to share it with all team members I work with,” Hutchison said. “If it weren’t for the work that all the ARISS-International volunteers do, this award would never have been given.” Read more.
The K7RA Solar Update
Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, reports: No sunspots have been seen since June 15, when one sunspot group containing one sunspot was observed. Each sunspot group is assigned 10 points, and each sunspot gets 1 point, so 11 is the minimum non-zero sunspot number.
Last week’s reported average daily sunspot number was 7.9. Average daily solar flux declined from 70 to 67.7.
Predicted solar flux for the next 45 days is 68 on June 25 – July 2; 70 on July 3 – 12; 68 on July 13 – 25, and 70 on July 26 – August 8.
Predicted planetary A index is 5 on June 25 – 26; 8 on June 27; 5 on June 28 – July 3; 8, 5, 8, and 8 on July 4 – 7; 5 on July 8 – 30; 8, 5, 8, and 8 on July 31 – August 3, and 5 on August 4 – 8.
Sunspot numbers for June 18 – 24 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, and 0, with a mean of 0. The 10.7-centimeter flux was 67.9, 68.8, 67.8, 67.6, 67.6, 67.1, and 66.9, with a mean of 67.7. Estimated planetary A indices were 4, 5, 6, 4, 4, 4, and 5, with a mean of 4.6. Middle latitude A index was 5, 7, 7, 4, 3, 6, and 7, with a mean of 5.6.
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
ARRL Seeks Vintage DX Logs for Archive
ARRL continues to solicit paper logs of prominent DXpeditions or logs from stations and operators active from more rare locations from the 1950s through the 1980s, for inclusion in The DX Log Archive Endowed by JA1BK. The DX Log Archive program was created, thanks to an endowment established by Kan Mizoguchi, JA1BK, to
The archive will include pre-1950 paper logs as well as those from interesting operations, other documents from DXpeditions, and logs kept by long-time residents of rare entities. All logbooks received to date have been inventoried and are housed at ARRL Headquarters. Former ARRL Radiosport and Field Services Manager Dave Patton, NN1N, will manage the program.
Patton noted the recent receipt of interesting logs from Hal Turley, W8HC. These included some old logs of Al Hix, W8AH (ex-W8PQQ). Especially significant is the June 1951 7B4QF operation from Andorra — the first amateur radio operation from that country. Hix was there with Bill Orr, W6SAI; Gus, SM5UM, and Mick, ON4QF. See “Operation Andorra” by Bill Orr, W6SAI, in the October 1951 issue of QST. Other W8AH paper logs include the 1951 PX1AR Andorra and 3A2AC Monaco operations.
Contact Patton for more information about logs or related DXing ephemera that might be of interest to the DX Log Archive.
QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo Set for August
QSO Today podcast host Eric Guth, 4Z1UG/WA6IGR, has announced that the first QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo will take place Saturday and Sunday, August 8 – 9. Attendance is free to all, registration is open, and there are early bird prizes for registering now. Built on a live, virtual reality platform used by Fortune 500 companies and major universities, the ARRL-sanctioned hamfest will feature a lineup of
Presenters will include Ward Silver, N0AX, on grounding and bonding; Glenn Johnson, W0GJ, on DXpeditions, and John Portune, W6NBC, on building slot antennas for antenna-restricted locations. Demonstrations of new amateur radio gear will be presented, and attendees can speak with exhibitors via video/audio or chat, as well as interact with others online.
“This platform simulates a full convention experience, with an exhibit hall and exhibit booths staffed by live attendants, speaker auditorium, lobby, and lounges,” the announcement said. Guth, an ARRL member, decided to go forward with the virtual event after many in-person ham radio conventions were canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. ARRL will be among the exhibitors filling the virtual exhibit hall.
Attendees will be able to share ideas and network with each other via the virtual platform. Following the 48-hour live event, audio/video from presentations and resources published by exhibitors will remain available to registrants on demand for 30 days.
Dayton Hamvention® Announces New Chair, Assistant Chair for 2021 Show
The Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA) has appointed Rick Allnutt, WS8G, as the General Chair for Dayton Hamvention® 2021, heading a team of some 750 volunteers. An ARRL Life Member and a ham since 1982, Allnutt, who served as Assistant General Chair with
outgoing General Chair Jack Gerbs, WB8SCT, has been a Hamvention volunteer for the past decade.
“Hamvention is very important in my experience of amateur radio,” Allnutt said. “I am honored to serve as the General Chair of the Dayton Hamvention.”
Tapped as Assistant General Chair is Jim Storms, AB8YK, a past president, vice president, and secretary of the SouthWest Ohio DX Association. He has been DARA’s vice president and Hamvention advance registration chair for 3 years and is cofounder, director, and trip team leader of the Dave Kalter Memorial Youth DX Adventure.
Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions
Note: Many conventions and hamfests have been canceled or postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Check the calendar of canceled events on the ARRL website.
Find conventions and hamfests in your area
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Aloha es 73 de Russell Roberts (KH6JRM)
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Hawaii County, ARRL Pacific Section
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