Here are the latest Amateur Radio news, events, and commentary compiled by “The ARRL Letter.”
Views expressed in this Amateur Radio News summary are those of the reporters and correspondents.
Accessed on 01 July 2022, 1444 UTC.
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June 30, 2022
John E. Ross, KD8IDJ, Editor
Field Day 2022: 500,000 Contacts Already Reported
2022 ARRL Field Day wrapped up nearly a week ago, and ARRL Headquarters has already received over 2,400 entries submitted via the online Field Day Entry web application. Early analysis reveals that most of the entrants participated as Class D — home stations, and Class E — home stations using emergency power.
As of June 29, the breakdown of Field Day entries by Class showed 2,723 total entries, with 272 in Class A, 361 in Class B, 32 in Class C (mobile), 1,524 in Class D, 484 in Class E, and 50 in Class F.
So far, a total of over 517,000 contacts were reported for the event and those numbers are changing daily. In 2021, there were 1.5 million contacts made during Field Day activities.
Many participants were keeping their hopes up for better propagation, as early forecasts were looking promising. ARRL Contest Program Manager Paul Bourque, N1SFE, said that propagation aside, there was substantial activity. “While band conditions might not have been the greatest, there was a good amount of activity on the bands this past weekend. Many participants seemed to agree that the recent rule changes, capping transmitter power output to 100 W, were a good idea,” he said.
Dustin Lomax, KF7FK, reported in his Soapbox comments that it was his first Field Day in which he used CW, adding that “CW was a fun change of pace that really helped make the most of marginal band conditions in WWA [Western Washington].”
There is still plenty of time to submit your 2022 Field Day entry. Participants who submit their entries using ARRL’s Online Submission Form can earn 50 bonus points and will receive an email confirmation of their completed entry. Be sure to check the Entries Received web page to verify your entry’s status. If it indicates “Pending documents,” the required dupe sheet (or in lieu of that, a Cabrillo log file) or other supporting documentation of claimed bonus points is missing.
Participants can edit or add documentation to their online submissions by using the link provided in the confirmation email. Field Day entries must be submitted online or postmarked no later than 2059 UTC on July 26, 2022.
2022 Field Day was highly promoted thanks to the efforts of many ARRL Division and Section volunteers, amateur radio clubs, and their members. Many states and counties obtained special proclamations from local governments designating the weekend (in some cases the whole week) as Field Day and Amateur Radio Week, recognizing the many contributions of amateur radio operators during emergencies and with serving their communities.
ARRL treated participants with a live video stream from W1AW, its Headquarters’ station, throughout Field Day. Life Member Karl Schwab, KO8S, of Warren, Michigan, was delighted with making contact with W1AW during Field Day. “I heard W1AW calling CQ Field Day on 20 m SSB,” wrote Schwab. “I responded and then heard, ‘Kilo Oscar Eight Sierra, you’re 5 Foxtrot Connecticut.’ I responded with my report, and got in their log. … After Field Day, and uploading my log, I went to the ARRL website and there I found a 4-hour video was available on YouTube, showing W1AW during their Field Day activities. While watching this video, at hour 2, minute 55, I heard and saw my live contact with them! [This] was a special moment for me. One I will never forget.” A recording of the W1AW live stream is on ARRL’s YouTube channel.
We’re back! International Amateur Radio Exhibition Celebrates Relaunch
2022 Ham Radio, the International Amateur Radio Exhibition, held last weekend (June 24 – 26) in Friedrichshafen, Germany, drew enthusiastic crowds and amateur radio enthusiasts from 52 countries.
Messe Friedrichshafen Managing Director Klaus Wellmann and Project Manager Petra Rathgeber said the event attracted 10,200 participants. While attendance was down (14,300 in 2019) because of COVID, visitors and exhibitors were upbeat — a sentiment reflected in the event’s slogan this year: “Seeing Friends Again.”
“Together with our outstanding partner, the German Amateur Radio Club (DARC), we have put on a top-notch trade fair with a wide-ranging supporting program,” said Wellmann and Rathgeber in a joint statement.
There were 129 commercial exhibitors and associations with 265 flea market exhibitors from 27 countries. DARC Press Spokesperson Stephanie Heine, DO7PR, and DARC Chair Christian Entsfellner, DL3MBG, emphasized the event created a unique space for meeting others in person, and fulfilled its role as a driver of the future of amateur radio. “Together we laid the foundation for the regional emergency radio groups at the fair, and we will launch a nationwide concept for emergency communications in the near future,” said Heine.
ARRL was among the participating International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) member-societies exhibiting at the convention. Representing ARRL in Germany was President Rick Roderick, K5UR and his wife Holly Roderick; CEO David Minster, NA2AA; Director of Operations Bob Naumann, W5OV, and Director of Public Relations and Innovation Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R.
Naumann led a team of ARRL volunteers who supported DXCC card checking at its stand — a service that’s very popular within the international ham radio community.
“It was fantastic to visit with so many members and friends in Germany,” said Inderbitzen. He noted that ARRL has thousands of International Members. “QST magazine is among the most recognized amateur radio journal in the world — and draws many hams to ARRL for membership,” he said. “Other popular membership benefits include ARRL Equipment Testing and QST Product Review; our entire suite of digital magazines, including QEX, NCJ, and On the Air; and member-pricing for popular ARRL Awards.” He also noted ARRL’s role in protecting and promoting amateur radio worldwide, and as Secretariat for the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU).
A short video tour from the convention is posted to ARRL’s YouTube channel.
The next Ham Radio event will be held in Friedrichshafen, Germany, from June 23 to 25, 2023.
More information is available at Ham Radio.
Southern California Exercise Tests Winlink Global Radio Email
For 2 days in mid-June, over 100 amateur radio operators were joined by the United States Geological Survey (USGS), local and county law enforcement agencies, and the EmComm Training Organization (ETO) for participation in a functional earthquake exercise in southern California, known as SoCal Shifting 2022.
The goal of the exercise, which took place June 18 – 19, was to test the operational capability and readiness of the Winlink Global Radio Email® system using amateur radio frequencies.
Oliver Dully, K6OLI, District Emergency Coordinator of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®) Los Angeles Northeast District, said the exercise came together quickly over 5 days, with the help of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Disaster Communications Service (DCS), the San Diego ARES, and the Ventura County ARES.
Dully said, “Amateur operators routinely hold weekly tests but need to be network-aware and used to the battle rhythm during emergencies to move traffic in [a] more timely manner.”
The exercise scenario included a cluster of earthquakes occurring on June 18 at 10:18 AM Pacific Standard Time, and amateur radio operators were asked to send a series of messages ranging from a Did You Feel It (DYFI) report to a Field Station Report (FSR).
Dully said the exercise was a great success, stating: “Participants were only given a short 3 days’ notice, so the great success of the SoCal Shifting 2022 functional exercise again demonstrates the value of regular, mission-focused training and collaboration.”
Dully said the numbers from the final after-action report were outstanding:
The exercise scenario and a brief after-action review are available.
Amateur Radio in the News
ARRL Public Information Officers, Coordinators, and many other member-volunteers help keep amateur radio and ARRL in the news.
“Amateur radio operators: One of the first lines of defense when a hurricane hits” / WJXT-Channel 4, WCWJ-Channel 17 (Florida), June 26, 2022 — Clay County Amateur Radio Emergency Service is an ARRL Affiliated Club.
“Amateur radio operators test skills during annual 24-hour test” / ABC 5 KSTP (Minnesota), June 26, 2022 — The Stillwater Amateur Radio Association is an ARRL Affiliated Club.
“Amateur Radio Operators prepared to help during emergencies” / ABC 27 (Florida), June 26, 2022 —The Tallahassee Amateur Radio Society is an ARRL Affiliated Club.
“Local amateur radio club joins counterparts across North America for annual field day” / Trib Total Media (Pennsylvania), June 27, 2022 —The Skyview Radio Society is an ARRL Affiliated Club.
“Local “hams” attend national field day for amateur radio” / The Monroe News (Michigan), June 27, 2022 — The Monroe County Radio Communications Association is an ARRL Affiliated Club.
“Amateur Radio Operators preparing to communicate in the worst of times” / 21WFJM (Ohio), June 25, 2022 — The Mahoning Valley Amateur Radio Association is an ARRL Affiliated Club.
“Hawaii amateur radio operators to participate in emergency communications drill July 16, 2022” / KITV (Hawaii), June 28, 2022 — The Hawaii Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) is an ARRL Affiliated Club.
Share any amateur radio media hits you spot with us.
ARRL Podcasts Schedule
The latest episode of the ARRL On the Air podcast (Episode 30) features a discussion with ARRL Contest Manager Paul Bourque, N1SFE, about ARRL Field Day and off-the-grid operating.
The latest edition of the ARRL Eclectic Tech podcast (Episode 63) features a discussion with solar researcher and ARRL Central Division Director Carl Lutzelschwab, K9LA, about the 1859 super flare,known as the Carrington Event. Could it happen again during the peak of the current solar cycle?
The Hurricane Watch Net is keeping a close eye on a new system, the Potential Tropical Cyclone Two. This system was expected to affect the islands of Curaçao and Aruba as well as the northern coast early Thursday morning June 30, 2022, with sustained winds of 50 MPH (80 km/h). This system is expected to become a Category 1 Hurricane late Friday evening July 1, 2022, when it will be around 110 miles (177 kilometers) east of Bluefields, Nicaragua. Located over the southwestern Caribbean Sea, advisories have been issued with the chance of formation through Friday July 1, 2022, at 90%. Tropical Storm Warnings have been issued by the governments of Nicaragua for the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua from the Nicaragua/Costa Rica border northward to Sandy Bay Sirpi, and Costa Rica for the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica from Limon northward to the Nicaragua/Costa Rica border. As of Thursday June 30, 2022, the Hurricane Watch New has not been activated but as the situation changes activation notices will be sent via the private email listing, as well as posted on their website at www.hwn.org. As a reminder, when activated, the hurricane net will be on 14.325 MHz (USB) by day and 7.268 MHz (LSB) by night. When propagation dictates, both frequencies will be used simultaneously.
The Spanish Amateur Radio Union (URE) in Galicia, Spain has organized an event to commemorate the 2022 jubilee of The Way of Saint James with amateur radio. Diploma Xacobeo 2021 – 2022, “Galicia for the world”, will take place July 18 – 25, 2022, and is a 1,500 kilometer walk along coastlines and through 10 public routes of landscapes and legends with Hostels on the Camino de Santiago in Galicia. There will be 10 special event stations along the routes from July 18 – 25 and a “diploma” (QSL card) will be issued for making all 10 contacts. On July 25, special event station A02022XAC will be activated and a sepearete diploma will be issued for contact with that station. For additional information visit email@example.com
A pedestrian foxhunt hunt was held during the June 21, 2022, Athens County Ohio Amateur Radio Association’s (ACARA) summer potluck picnic at the Southside Park shelter. Kirk Groeneveld, KC8JRV, hid several weak transmitters throughout the grounds in the park for hunters who showed up with their gear to zero in on the locations. After a 15-minute search of the grounds Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, was able to locate the first of the transmitters hidden in a squirrel box/brochure tray in an adjacent field. The weathered box had blended with an attached tree to form the perfect hiding spot. The warm, humid day was a deterrent for continuing the hunt for other transmitters, so the hunt was cancelled early. Earlier Athens, Ohio area foxhunts had been designed for motor vehicle hunting, however, with the price of gas rising, it was decided a hunt (on foot) would be more logical at this club event. Two dozen ACARA members attended the picnic.
The K7RA Solar Update
Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington, reports:
Solar activity took a dramatic plunge over the recent reporting week (June 23 – 29), but geomagnetic activity stayed the same. ARRLField Day weekend saw rising geomagnetic numbers, with the planetary A index at 8, 16, and 23, Friday through Sunday.
On Sunday, June 25, 2022, the geomagnetic activity was a problem, although not severe, with many stations on Field Day reporting increased absorption. The planetary K index peaked at 5 (a big number) at the end of the day on Saturday (UTC time) and continued into the early hours of Sunday, which was early Saturday evening on the West Coast.
This happened because of a crack in the Earth’s magnetosphere, detailed here:
Compared to the previous 7 days, average daily sunspot numbers declined from 124.6 to 49.1, while average daily solar flux dropped from 140.5 to 105.3.
Planetary and middle latitude A index averages were both the same as the previous week, all numbers around 11.
The prediction from the United States Air Force (USAF) 557th Weather Wing is not very optimistic, with solar flux peaking at 140 on July 11 – 16.
The prediction shows 10.7-centimeter solar flux at 90 on June 30 and July 1; 95 on July 2; 105 on July 3 – 7; 130 on July 8 – 9; 135 on July 10; 140 on July 11 – 16; 135, 130, 125, and 120 on July 17 – 20; 115, 110, 105, and 100 on July 21 – 24; 95 on July 25 – 26; 100 on July 27 – 29, and 105, 110, 115, and 120 on July 30 through August 2.
Predicted planetary A index is 8, 10, and 8 on June 30 through July 2; 5 on July 3 – 7; 8, 8, 12, and 8 on July 8 – 11; 5 on July 12 – 13; 12 on July 14 – 16; 10 on July 17; 8 on July 18 – 21; 12, 15, 15, and 10 on July 22 – 25, and 5 on July 26 through August 4.
In Friday’s bulletin, look for updated forecasts and observations emailed by readers to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunspot numbers for June 23 through 29 were 69, 60, 31, 33, 32, 71, and 48, with a mean of 49.1. The 10.7-centimeter flux was 121.4, 115.4, 108.1, 102, 98.2, 96.1, and 96.2, with a mean of 105.3. Estimated planetary A indices were 10, 8, 16, 23, 12, 8, and 6, with a mean of 11.9. Middle latitude A index was 12, 8, 14, 15, 15, 11, and 7, with a mean of 11.7.
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 the Propagation Page of Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA.
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