Here’s the latest ARRL Amateur Radio News compiled by “The ARRL Letter”, 30 December 2021.
Views expressed in this Amateur/Ham Radio News summary are those of the reporters and correspondents.
Accessed on 30 December 2021, 2146 UTC.
Please click link or scroll down to read your selections.
|If you are having trouble reading this message, you can see the original at:
December 30, 2021
Editor: Rick Lindquist, WW1ME
ARRL Headquarters will be closed on Friday, December 31, and there will be no W1AW bulletin or CW practice transmissions on that day. ARRL Headquarters will reopen on Monday, January 3, 2022, at 8 AM EST (1300 UTC). We extend our best wishes for the New Year!
IARU Region 2 Executive Committee Issues Upbeat Seasonal Message
International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Region 2 Secretary George
“A bright spot in an otherwise challenging year is that our shared passion of amateur radio is growing stronger,” Gorsline wrote. “The increase in on-the-air activity has been noticeable, especially on the HF bands. Driven by reawakening solar activity and the rapid adoption of digital modes, such as FT8, the bands are active — not just during evenings and weekends, but also during normal working hours, where more than a few of us have been known to be in video conference calls while making QSOs.
Growth in activity and participation has not been limited to the HF bands. Use of VHF and UHF has also increased, not just for local nets, but especially interest in satellite operations.”
Gorsline said that the use of “virtual learning” has allowed many IARU member-societies and affiliated clubs to conduct licensing classes and exams. “Attracting new and younger amateurs is our future,” said Gorsline. “For 2022, the challenge to all of us is to not only enjoy our hobby, but to also share it with someone new.”
Hurricane Watch Net Recorded 300 On-Air Hours in 2021
Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) Manager Bobby Graves, KB5HAV, says 2021 was the third most-active hurricane season on record in terms of named storms, and was the sixth consecutive above-normal season.
“We’ve completed another hurricane season. The Atlantic basin was extremely busy again for 2021,” Graves told HWN members. “For the
Tropical systems that made landfall caused estimated total damage of $70 billion, as of the end of November, making 2021 the fourth most costly hurricane season on record, behind 2012, 2005, and 2017.
Graves recounted that several tropical systems made an impact on land this year. “In August, Tropical Storm Fred caused devastating flooding across parts of the Greater Antilles and the southeastern United States,” he said. “Hurricane Grace made two landfalls in Mexico — first as a Category 1 hurricane just south of Tulum on the southeast Yucatán [Peninsula], and second as a Category 3 major hurricane in the Mexican state of Veracruz.”
“Hurricane Ida was a deadly and destructive hurricane that made landfall in Louisiana as a Category 4 hurricane — the most intense and
destructive hurricane to affect the state since Hurricane Katrina,” Graves continued. He noted that Ida also caused catastrophic flooding across the US northeast.
“Hurricane Larry peaked as a powerful Category 3 hurricane over the open Atlantic [Ocean] before making landfall in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador as a Category 1 hurricane. Later, Hurricane Nicholas moved erratically both on and offshore [on] the coasts of Texas and Louisiana,” he said.
In 2021, the HWN activated for five hurricanes — Elsa, Grace, Henri, Ida, and Larry. Graves said the HWN racked up nearly 300 hours on the air, with 140 of those spent on Hurricane Ida alone. Read an expanded version.
New Low-Power Limit for ARRL HF Contests Goes into Effect on January 1, 2022
ARRL has set a new standard for what counts as low power for ARRL-sponsored HF contests. The new limit is 100 W, which is down from
With the exception of ARRL Field Day, this change goes into effect on January 1, 2022, for all ARRL-sponsored HF contests, as well as the IARU HF World Championship.
This change has been implemented to standardize low-power categories within the contesting community. However, on a more practical level, the typical modern HF transceiver has a maximum power output of 100 W.
For more information, contact the ARRL Contests program. — Thanks to The ARRL Contest Update
ARRL Podcasts Schedule
The latest edition of the Eclectic Tech podcast (Episode 50) — the final edition for 2021 — features a discussion with Nelson Sollenberger,
ARRL to Oppose Forest Service Administrative Fees for Amateur Radio Facilities
The US Forest Service is proposing to implement a statutorily required annual fee for new and existing communications use authorizations to cover the costs of administering its authorization program. ARRL plans to vigorously oppose the imposition of the proposed fees on amateur radio.
The Forest Service proposal results from requirements set forth in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (aka “the Farm Bill”). Specifically, section 8705(c)(3)(b) of the Farm Bill directs the Forest Service to
The Forest Service is responsible for managing Federal lands and authorizes the use and occupancy of National Forest System (NFS) lands for communications facilities that provide communications services for adjacent rural and urban communities. The Agency said in its proposal that it administers more than 3,700 special use authorizations on NFS lands for infrastructure that supports more than 10,000 wireless communications uses at 1,367 communications sites.
According to the Forest Service Notice published in the December 22, 2021 issue of the Federal Register, revenues from the proposed fee, “would provide the funds necessary to support a more modernized, efficient, and enhanced communications use program,” and will “cover the costs of administering the Agency’s communications use program.” Costs, as laid out in section 8705(f)(4) of the Farm Bill, may include expenditures for such things as “on-site reviews of communications sites, developing communications site management plans, hiring and training personnel for the communications use program, conducting internal and external outreach for and national oversight of the communications use program, and obtaining or improving access to communications sites on NFS lands.”
ARRL encourages amateur radio licensees to file comments opposing the imposition of the proposed administrative fee on amateur radio users. Comments must be received in writing by no later than February 22, 2022. Comments may be submitted online at the Federal Rulemaking Portal or via USPS mail to Director, Lands & Realty Management Staff, 201 14th Street SW, Washington, DC 20250-1124, and must include the identifier “RIN 0596-AD44.”
HamSCI Invites Abstracts for its 2022 Workshop
HamSCI is soliciting abstracts for the 2022 HamSCI Workshop. The submission deadline is February 1, 2022. The workshop will be a hybrid (in-person and virtual) event from March 18 – 19, 2022, at the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
“The primary objective of the HamSCI workshop is to bring together the amateur radio community and professional scientists,” said
Skov and Bacon will present tutorials on the impacts of space and terrestrial weather on the ionosphere. Chen-Pang Yeang, an associate professor and director for the Special Project on Scientific Instruments at the University of Toronto, will deliver the keynote address, “Ham Radio and the Discovery of the Ionosphere.”
Frissell said that abstracts related to development of the Personal Space Weather Station, ionospheric science, atmospheric science, radio science, space weather, radio astronomy, and any science topic that can be appropriately related to amateur radio are invited. “We especially encourage submissions related to this year’s meeting theme of The Weather Connection, but will also accept abstracts outside of this theme that are of interest to both the amateur radio and professional science communities.”
ARRL Learning Network Webinars
Visit the ARRL Learning Network (a members-only benefit) to register, check on upcoming webinars, and to view previously
Have an interesting topic you want to share? The ARRL Learning Network is a series of online webinars presented by member-volunteers for members. Presentations should be short — 30 minutes plus an additional 15 minutes for Q&A.
For more information, email ARRL Education and Learning.
More webinars are coming soon!
ARRL members may register for upcoming presentations and view previously recorded Learning Network webinars. ARRL-affiliated radio clubs may also use the recordings as presentations for club meetings, mentoring new and current hams, and discussing amateur radio topics.
Intrepid-DX Group Announces Youth “Dream Rig” Essay Contest Winners
On December 1, Intrepid-DX Group President Paul Ewing, N6PSE, announced the prize recipients of the second annual Youth “Dream Rig” Essay Contest. Ewing said all essays received “were all unique in
“Most of the essays gave unique perspectives on how to reach out and connect with the youth of today. We will be sharing those ideas in subsequent postings,” he said.
The first-place winner and recipient of an Icom IC-7300 transceiver is Silas Davis, W3SED. Second-place winner Olivia Lee, KD2UYX, and third-place winner Isaac Schmidt, K6IAS, will each receive Yaesu FT-65R radios. “Having read your many essays this week, we can tell you that our youth are full of great ideas, and they are brimming with enthusiasm to keep our hobby alive well into the future,” Ewing concluded.
He thanked Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC) for supporting this year’s prizes.
Amateur Radio in the News
ARRL Public Information Officers, Coordinators, and many other member-volunteers help keep amateur radio and ARRL in the news.
Share any amateur radio media hits you spot with us.
3Y0J DXpedition to Bouvet Island Updates its Progress
Two new team members of the upcoming 3Y0J Bouvet DXpedition team have come aboard to replace, in part, three operators who are unable to make the trip — Sandro Nitoi, VE7NY; Laci Radócz, HA0NAR, and Dimtry Zhikharev, RA9USU. Joining the 3Y0J crew will be Cezar Trifu, VE3LYC, and Otis Vicens, NP4G. A third replacement has not yet been named.
“Their experience will be a great addition to the team,” the DXpedition team said in a media release announcing the personnel changes and updating the DXpedition’s planning process.
Ken Opskar, LA7GIA; Rune Øye, LA7THA, and Erwann Merrien, LB1QI, are sharing leadership duties for the 2023 DXpedition.
The 3Y0J team has also been busy selecting the gear that they will need once they reach the subantarctic island. Arctic Lavvo of Norway will supply the team with its Venor Gamme tent. The tent, which stood
Silcom of South Africa will supply custom masts for the Yagi antennas that are rated for the Bouvet environment. The aluminum mast will be used for the tribanders, while the smaller, galvanized steel mast will support dual-band Yagis.
“We’re taking preparation to the next level by procuring a [Zodiac Milpro inflatable boat],” the team continued. “The strategic decision to buy the [boat] will enable us to train [for] the critical beach landing in Norway.
The DXpedition team said it’s still $160,000 short of its funding goal.
Georgia Club Donates License Manuals to Local Schools
The Dalton Amateur Radio Club (DARC) in Dalton, Georgia, recently donated copies of the ARRL Ham Radio License Manual to several schools in its service area. The materials will be available in the schools’ media centers.
On December 1, DARC President Jack Thompson, N5UOV, met with media specialists Sarah Hicks of North Murray High School and Ryan Long of Murray County High School to present both schools with copies of the ARRL Ham Radio License Manual, which covers everything needed to obtain a Technician-class license including the full question pool for the exam.
During a second presentation on December 3, Thompson and David Stanley, WI4L, met with Whitfield County Schools Media Specialist Ge-Anne Bolhuis, and Communications Specialist Kristina Horsley, to present 10 copies of the license manual, which will be placed in each middle school and high school in the county.
The visits offered Thompson and Stanley a chance to answer questions about amateur radio. Thompson explained to Hicks that not only was ham radio an interesting hobby, it involves public service activities and could inspire students to become involved in emergency management or search-and-rescue activities.
Bolhuis also asked about the uses of amateur radio. Stanley explained that ham radio is often the last line of communication in an emergency when all other means fail. Thompson explained how his activity as a radio amateur led to his 25+ years of volunteering as a reservist in emergency management and as a member of the search-and-rescue team of the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Department in Mississippi.
Representatives from all of the schools received information about the ARRL Foundation Scholarship Program. The Dalton Amateur Radio Club expressed its appreciation to Tom Smith, KI4IG, for making the initial contacts with the schools and to ARRL for providing the manuals at no cost.
The K7RA Solar Update
Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, reports: Sunspot activity persisted over the reporting week, although numbers were a bit lower. Average daily sunspot number declined from 124.4 to 110.1. Average daily solar flux slipped just slightly from 125 to 124. Average daily planetary A index
New sunspot groups appeared on December 25, 26, and 28.
Predicted solar flux over the next month is expected to peak at 130 on January 18 – 19, and the numbers are 110, 108, and 105 on December 30 – January 1; 104 on January 2 – 3; 100 on January 4; 98 on January 5 – 6; then 92, 100, 105, and 110 on January 7 – 10; 115 on January 11 – 13; 118 on January 14 – 15; 122 and 128 on January 16 – 17; 130 on January 18 – 19; 128, 125, and 120 on January 20 – 22; 125 on January 23 – 24; 122 on January 25; 120 on January 26 – 27; 115, 110, 100, and 95 on January 28 – 31; 90 on February 1 – 2, and 92 and 100 on February 3 – 4.
Predicted planetary A index is 10 and 8 on December 30 – 31, then 6, 12, and 8 on January 1 – 3; 5 on January 4 – 10; 10 on January 11 – 12; 5 on January 13 – 14; 8 and 12 on January 15 – 16; 8 on January 17 – 18; 5 on January 19 – 22; 8, 10, 8, and 8 on January 23 – 26, and 5 on January 27 – February 6.
Sunspot numbers for December 23 – 29 were 143, 145, 117, 95, 85, 107, and 79, with a mean of 110.1. The 10.7-centimeter flux was 129.8, 126.2, 130.7, 125.4, 123.9, 120.5, and 111.4, with a mean of 124. Estimated planetary A indices were 4, 5, 7, 3, 10, 9, and 7, with a mean of 6.4. Middle latitude A index was 2, 3, 5, 2, 8, 6, and 5, with a mean of 4.4.
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 the Propagation Page of Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA.
Share your reports and observations.
Just Ahead in Radiosport
Please scroll down to continue.
Please scroll down to continue.
Please scroll down to continue.
Upcoming Section, State, and Division Conventions
Search the ARRL Hamfest and Convention Database to find events in your area.
ARRL — Your One-Stop Resource for
Free of charge to ARRL members…